Successful conclusion of Moore4Medical project

The power of Open Technology Platforms for Organ-on-Chip applications

After the successful final review in Maastricht (NL) at the end of September 2023, the 3-year KDT-JU project Moore4Medical has reached its very successful conclusion. Under the expert leadership of Sieger Swaving, Ronald Dekker and Erik van den Zeijden (Philips), the 68 consortium partners of Moore4Medical have convincingly shown how open technology platforms can be beneficially deployed to advance multiple biomedical domains, such as implantable devices, ultrasound monitoring, drug attrition, surgical devices, and not least Organ-on-Chip.

With the contribution of 24 European partners * (see below)  the second work package of Moore4Medical led by Massimo Mastrangeli (TU Delft) specifically developed three open technology platforms for Organs-on-Chip: the Smart Multi-Well Plate (SMWP), the High-Definition electro-Physiology Plate (HD e-Phys) and the Smart (multi-well plate) Lid. The platforms were developed from design and architecture through implementation, fabrication and assembly, to biological validation in relevant settings. They embody recommendations from the European Organ-on-Chip roadmap for ease of use, standardization and industrially scalable manufacturing. The SMWP in particular captures the power of Organ-on-Chip devices under the familiar aspect of a multi-well plate (see illustration). It combines end user-defined configurability of Organ-on-Chip devices with fluidic autonomy afforded by onboard piezoelectric micropumps and compatibility with established laboratory workflows.

Moore4Medical has also prepared the ground for follow-up projects that can capitalize on its many achievements and insight, such as the NEXTGEN HIGHTECH program (domain Biomedical Production Technologies) in the Netherlands and the KDT-JU UNLOOC project (under evaluation). For more information about the Moore4Medical project watch the M4M video:

*  24 European partners – TU Delft (NL), Micronit (NL), Multi Channel System (DE), Philips (NL), Fraunhofer EMFT (DE), imec (BE), CSEM (CH), InSphero (CH), Besi Netherlands (NL), Besi Austria (AT), EVG (AT), TU Eindhoven (NL), INESC-MN (PT), ITAV (PT), IMT (RM), Menarini Silicon Biosystems (IT), IISA (ES), BEOnChip (ES), BI/OND (NL), Microfluidic ChipShop (DE), TNO Holst Centre (NL), CER (HU), AEDUS (HU), Universita’ de Zaragoza (ES).

The ISSCR Releases Global Standards to Enhance Rigor and Reproducibility of Stem Cell Research

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) released the ISSCR Standards for Human Stem Cell Use in Research, an international collaboration aimed at enhancing rigor in preclinical research and ultimately strengthening the pipeline of therapies for patients. Christine Mummery and colleagues were among the many dedicated expert scientists who established this document. These new guidelines will also provide invaluable aid to authors, journal editors, and reviewers in the stem cell field when considering publications.

“This nearly two-year initiative is groundbreaking for the global stem cell research community,” said Haifan Lin, ISSCR president. “The international standards will make a big difference in the quality of science that is performed and published worldwide.”

The ISSCR is the preeminent international stem cell research society with a reputation for scientific and ethical rigor and has produced field-shaping documents such as the Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation. The current initiative, which establishes the minimum characterization and reporting criteria for scientists, students, and technicians in basic research laboratories working with human stem cells, is led by an international taskforce of scientists chaired by Tenneille Ludwig, WiCell Research Institute, USA and Peter Andrews, University of Sheffield, UK. The ISSCR’s standards for basic and preclinical research draws from previous work to improve the reproducibility of research using pluripotent stem cells, such as that from the International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI) and the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative (ISBCI), and address tissue stem cells and stem cell-derived model systems with the overall goal of improving reproducibility of experiments from lab to lab and from cell line to cell line.

“The ISSCR Standards represent a huge step forward in articulating Best Practice for use of stem cells in research,” said Tenneille Ludwig, co-chair of the taskforce that developed the recommendations. “When adopted, these basic principles will help drive rigor and reproducibility within the laboratory and improve both the quality and rate of science in our field.  It was an honor to work with such an experienced, dedicated, passionate group of true stem cell legends to establish this consensus document. The commitment to collaborative effort ultimately resulted in a strong document that will drive the field forward.”

One of the most impactful outcomes of the initiative is the development of the “Reporting Practices for Publishing Results with Human Pluripotent and Tissue Stem Cells” checklist. The checklist is intended to help scientists, reviewers, and editors prepare and assess manuscripts for inclusion of critical details relevant to work with pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) and tissue stem cells (TSCs) with the goal of increasing the rigor and reproducibility of research through reporting.

Stem Cell Reports views these new guidelines as an invaluable aid to authors, journal editors, and reviewers in the stem cell field,” said Martin Pera, Editor-in-Chief of Stem Cell Reports. “At our journal, we will be introducing the checklist for authors that accompanies the guidelines on a trial basis soon and soliciting their feedback along with that of reviewers and our Editorial Team. My colleagues and I feel this is a major step forward in ensuring rigor and reproducibility in all areas of stem cell research.”

Learn more about the evolution of the recommendations made in the ISSCR Standards by reviewing the society’s open access Standards webinars on ISSCR.digital and attending the ISSCR 2023 Annual Meeting in Boston, USA 14-17 June 2023. Visit ISSCR.org/standards-document for the full text and to download the PDF of the ISSCR Standards for Human Stem Cell Use in Research and the “Reporting Practices for Publishing Results with Human Pluripotent and Tissue Stem Cells” checklist.

The ISSCR Standards initiative is supported through contributions by Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). Learn more about their support.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org)
With more than 4,600 members from 80 countries worldwide, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.

 About Burroughs Wellcome Fund

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) serves and strengthens society by nurturing a diverse group of leaders in biomedical sciences to improve human health through education and powering discovery in frontiers of greatest need. BWF was founded in 1955 as the corporate foundation of the pharmaceutical firm Burroughs Wellcome Co. In 1993, a generous gift from the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom, enabled BWF to become fully independent from the company, which was acquired by Glaxo in 1995. 

 About Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. To learn more about the program, visit www.ddcf.org.

Source: ISSCR
Download the new standards here

ERC Consolidator Grant ‘Phoenix’ for Maria Tenje and collaborators

Maria Tenje, professor at Uppsala University, Sweden receives funding for her project PHOENIX, an ERC Consolidator Grant in physical sciences and engineering. Focus is on developing novel microfluidic tools for high-throughput and fully controlled organoid generation. Organoids are self-assembled 3D cell models that can be used as alternatives to animal testing for drug development and basic biomedical research.


In PHOENIX, Maria Tenje will further expand the droplet microfluidics toolbox that her lab has pioneered during the last ten years, to gain control of the cellular architecture of the organoids by using integrated acoustics. For the project, she will collaborate with researchers from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and researchers at Karolinska Institute and Lund University in Sweden.

Maria Tenje, Uppsala University, Sweden

More information:

https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2021-consolidator-grants-results

CEN-CENELEC Organ-on-Chip Focus Group Creation

In April, the online workshop ‘Organ on Chip: Towards Standardization‘ took place as the 2021 edition of Putting Science into Standards (PSIS) in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

The PSIS workshop gathered more than 200 participants from academia, industry, policy makers, regulatory experts, and standardizers. You can find out more about the workshop and the different themes and issues that were discussed over its two-day run in this event report published by the JRC.

In June, it was decided by CEN and CENELEC Technical Board that a CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on Organ on Chip (FG OoC) would be established. The secretariat of FG OoC is held by NEN, the Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute. The Focus Group shall ensure interaction between all relevant European stakeholders interested in potential standardization in the field of OoC, map ongoing activities, define priority needs and opportunities and recommend further action to ensure that standards support the deployment of OoC in industry and help to ensure its regulatory acceptance.

The primary objectives of this Focus Group will be:

– developing an overview for the stakeholder community on suitable standards already publicly available or in preparation
– developing a roadmap for potential standardization issues relevant for OoC
– identifying and considering technical bodies addressing areas related to OoC technologies, such as ISO/TC 276 Biotechnology, ISO/TC 215 Health Informatics, CEN/TC 140 In vitro diagnostic medical devices, CEN/TC 251 Health Informatics;
– advising CEN and CENELEC Technical Boards on strategic issues concerning standardization within the Group’s overall remit and, where no suitable standard exists, the FG OoC should recommend best ways to provide them;
– identifying and considering any relevant specific issues linked to European legislation; liaising with innovation/research projects impacting the field of OoC;
– establishing an active dialogue between stakeholders and liaising with the European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS) to identify potential synergies.

The Focus Group will be holding its kick-off meeting virtually on 2 March 2022.from 1.30-4.30 pm (Amsterdam/Europe time).

Researchers and organizations active in Organ-on-Chip can express their interest in contributing to this Focus Group by contacting their National Standardization Bodies (NSBs-CEN) or National Committees (NCs-CENELEC), who will organise the contributions at national level to the Focus Group.

Contact: Livia MIAN lmian@cencenelec.eu

Source: https://www.cencenelec.eu/news-and-events/news/2021/briefnews/2021-12-13-cen-cenelec-organ-on-chip-focus-group-creation/

The Intersection of Stem Cells and Engineering

Podcast with Christine Mummery and Peter Loskill

Following the publication of the Special issue on Organs-on-Chip in Stem Cell Reports, the guest editors Christine Mummery and Peter Loskill were invited by Martin Pera (Editor-in-Chief of Stem Cell Reports) to join the podcast to talk about the intersection of stem cells, microphysiological systems and Organs-on-Chip technology in understanding disease, screening drugs and personalized medicine.

 

Guests
Christine Mummery, PhD, Professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Center heading the iPSC & Organ-on-Chip Hotel at the LUMC. She is also chair of hDMT, the Dutch Organ-on-Chip Consortium), the recent past chair of EUROoCS and the recent past president of the ISSCR.

Peter Loskill, PhD W3-Professor for Organ-on-Chip Research at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute as well as the recent new chair of the European-Organ-on-Chip-Society (EUROoCS).

Host
Martin Pera, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Stem Cell Reports and The Jackson Laboratory

Supporting Documents
Special Issue: Organs-on-Chip

Science paper with Roche’s perspectives on Human microphysiological systems for drug development

Microphysiological systems (MPS) may provide a way to better understand and address the main failures of clinical programs: lack of efficacy or unacceptable side effects that are not predicted in animals or simpler cell systems during early preclinical stages. Despite the mostly exploratory nature of current MPS, there is an appetite for the uptake of the technology by pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve on human predictivity, with the long-term goal of eventually replacing animal models wherever possible. Simultaneously, both academic groups and multiple biotech companies are developing increasingly refined MPS models to meet the needs and quality standards required for drug development such as scalability and robustness. Read more

Roth A and MPS-WS Berlin 2019 [Marx U, Vilén L, Ewart L, Griffith LG, Hartung T, Ingber DE, Mendrick DL, Steger-Hartmann T and Tagle DA]. Human microphysiological systems for drug development. Science 2021, 373:1304-1306

Source: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abc3734

Special issue Stem Cell Reports on Organs-on-Chip

The special issue of Stem Cell Reports on Organs-on-Chip is the first result of the collaboration between the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and the European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS). In the editorial the guest editors Christine Mummery and Peter Loskill, past chair and current chair of EUROoCS, welcome the readers of Stem Cell Reports to become inspired by the use of stem cell-derived tissues and organoids in Organ-on-Chip/microphysiological systems. The special issue includes commentaries on the future perspectives of Organ-on-Chip, interviews with pioneers in the field, and other interesting reports and articles. All papers are open access.

Table of contents special issue

Interested in submitting a paper to the next regular issue of Stem Cell Reports? Look at the benefits for EUROoCS ) members below.

Benefit for EUROoCS members
EUROoCS members benefit from a discount for publication of their manuscript in Stem Cell Reports. They will be charged the ISSCR-member rate of $3300 (the non-member rate is $3800). Sign up to become a member.

 

Tumor-LN-oC project has kicked-off

On May 7th, 2021 Tumor-LN-oC project (Tumor and Lymph Node on Chip for cancer studies) was officially kicked-off via online conferencing service where all partners from 11 organizations participated. The project is coordinated by Institute of Communication and Computer Systems from Greece, with the participation of Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of Athens (Greece), Åbo Akademi (Finland), Alpes Lasers (Switzerland)), Rayfos Ltd (UK), Vienna University of Technology (Austria), Elvesys (France), PhosPrint P.C. (Greece), Asphalion SL (Spain) and Amires (Czech Republic).

Tumor-LN-oC aims to offer a comprehensive solution for a robust, automated tumor-lymph node-on-chip platform that will connect primary surgically removed human tumors and LN tissue from the same cancer patient. This will allow to study the interaction of primary tumors with lymph nodes, identify their chemical signature, and offer personalized treatment relying on molecular characterization of lymph node metastasizing cells.

Read the press release. For more information about the project visit the Tumor-LN-oC website.

Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition now open – Pitch your research!

Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions is now accepting entries which showcase the quality, diversity and passion of the most innovative minds taking part in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum, and a stepping stone for the next generation of researchers, innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries.

Organised independently by the European Commission in conjunction with the Falling Walls Lab, by pitching their research, MSCA fellows will be able to practise their transversal skills such as communication and outreach, drive their innovations and access new collaborations.

The aim of the Falling Walls Foundation is to promote exceptional ideas and connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields on a global level. Under its supervision, academic and research organisations around the world organise their own competitions at local and regional level. Each year, in November, the winners of each local Falling Walls Lab meet to compete in the Falling Walls Lab Finale.

The Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition will take place online-only on 30 September 2021.

For details on the Entry requirements, application process etc see website.

The application deadline is 4 July 2021.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/news/falling-walls-lab-msca-competition-now-open-pitch-your-research