Engineering Vascularized Organoid-on-a-Chip Models

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2021 Jul 13:23:141-167. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-090120-094330. Epub 2021 Mar 23.


Recreating human organ-level function in vitro is a rapidly evolving field that integrates tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and microfluidic technology to produce 3D organoids. A critical component of all organs is the vasculature. Herein, we discuss general strategies to create vascularized organoids, including common source materials, and survey previous work using vascularized organoids to recreate specific organ functions and simulate tumor progression. Vascularization is not only an essential component of individual organ function but also responsible for coupling the fate of all organs and their functions. While some success in coupling two or more organs together on a single platform has been demonstrated, we argue that the future of vascularized organoid technology lies in creating organoid systems complete with tissue-specific microvasculature and in coupling multiple organs through a dynamic vascular network to create systems that can respond to changing physiological conditions.

Keywords: angiogenesis; microphysiological systems; organ-on-a-chip; self-assembled vasculature; tumor-on-a-chip; vasculogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Microfluidics
  • Organoids*
  • Stem Cells
  • Tissue Engineering