Organ-on-a-chip platforms for studying drug delivery systems

J Control Release. 2014 Sep 28:190:82-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 May 10.


Novel microfluidic tools allow new ways to manufacture and test drug delivery systems. Organ-on-a-chip systems - microscale recapitulations of complex organ functions - promise to improve the drug development pipeline. This review highlights the importance of integrating microfluidic networks with 3D tissue engineered models to create organ-on-a-chip platforms, able to meet the demand of creating robust preclinical screening models. Specific examples are cited to demonstrate the use of these systems for studying the performance of drug delivery vectors and thereby reduce the discrepancies between their performance at preclinical and clinical trials. We also highlight the future directions that need to be pursued by the research community for these proof-of-concept studies to achieve the goal of accelerating clinical translation of drug delivery nanoparticles.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Drug screening; Nanoparticle; Organ-on-a-chip; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials*
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Discovery / instrumentation*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / instrumentation*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microfluidics
  • Nanoparticles


  • Drug Carriers