Application of Microphysiological Systems to Enhance Safety Assessment in Drug Discovery

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2018 Jan 6:58:65-82. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010617-052722. Epub 2017 Oct 13.


Enhancing the early detection of new therapies that are likely to carry a safety liability in the context of the intended patient population would provide a major advance in drug discovery. Microphysiological systems (MPS) technology offers an opportunity to support enhanced preclinical to clinical translation through the generation of higher-quality preclinical physiological data. In this review, we highlight this technological opportunity by focusing on key target organs associated with drug safety and metabolism. By focusing on MPS models that have been developed for these organs, alongside other relevant in vitro models, we review the current state of the art and the challenges that still need to be overcome to ensure application of this technology in enhancing drug discovery.

Keywords: drug discovery; microphysiological systems; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations