Pump-less, recirculating organ-on-a-chip (rOoC) platform

Lab Chip. 2023 Feb 14;23(4):591-608. doi: 10.1039/d2lc00919f.


We developed a novel, pump-less directional flow recirculating organ-on-a-chip (rOoC) platform that creates controlled unidirectional gravity-driven flow by a combination of a 3D-tilting system and an optimized microfluidic layout. The rOoC platform was assembled utilizing a layer-to-layer fabrication technology based on thermoplastic materials. It features two organoid compartments supported by two independent perfusion channels and separated by a hydrogel barrier. We developed a computational model to predict wall shear stress values and then measured the flow rate in the microfluidic channels with micro-Particle-Image-Velocimetry (μPIV). The suitability of the rOoC for functional culture of endothelial cells was tested using HUVECs seeded in the perfusion channels. HUVECs aligned in response to the directional flow, formed a barrier and were able to sprout into the organoid compartments. Next, we demonstrated the viability of human stem-cell derived liver organoids in the organoid compartments. Finally, we show the possibility to circulate immune cells in the microfluidic channels that retain viability without being trapped or activated. The rOoC platform allows growing and connecting of two or more tissue or organ representations on-chip with the possibility of applying gradients, endothelial barriers, microvasculature and circulating cells independent of external tubing and support systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells*
  • Humans
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
  • Liver
  • Microfluidics
  • Microphysiological Systems*