Organs-on-a-chip: a union of tissue engineering and microfabrication

Trends Biotechnol. 2023 Mar;41(3):410-424. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2022.12.018. Epub 2023 Jan 31.


We review the emergence of the new field of organ-on-a-chip (OOAC) engineering, from the parent fields of tissue engineering and microfluidics. We place into perspective the tools and capabilities brought into the OOAC field by early tissue engineers and microfluidics experts. Liver-on-a-chip and heart-on-a-chip are used as two case studies of systems that heavily relied on tissue engineering techniques and that were amongst the first OOAC models to be implemented, motivated by the need to better assess toxicity to human tissues in preclinical drug development. We review current challenges in OOAC that often stem from the same challenges in the parent fields, such as stable vascularization and drug absorption.

Keywords: disease modeling; drug testing; high throughput; microfabrication; microfluidics; miniaturization; organ-on-a-chip; tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
  • Liver
  • Microfluidics / methods
  • Microtechnology*
  • Tissue Engineering* / methods