[Luni C, Serena E, Elvassore N. Human-on-chip for therapy development and fundamental science. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2014 Feb;25C:45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.08.015. Epub 2013 Sep 17.]
Organ-on-chip systems integrate microfluidic technology and living cells to study human physiology and pathophysiology. These human in vitro models are promising substitutes for animal testing, and their small scale enables precise control of culture conditions and high-throughput experiments, which would not be economically sustainable on a macroscopic level. Multiple sources of biological material are used in the development of organ-on-chips, from biopsies to stem cells. Each source has its own peculiarities and technical requirements for integration into microfluidic chips, and is suitable for specific applications. While a biopsy is the tissue of choice for the biomimetic response to ageing, induced pluripotent stem cells hold great promise for the study of genetic-related disease pathogenesis, and primary cultures can fill the gap.