Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)

Article Title

Human Organs-on-a-chip


organs-on-a-chip; microfluidic; biosensing and devices; disease model; drug evaluation

Document Type



Human organs-on-a-chip is a newly emerging and frontier technology involving with different disciplines in recent years. It refers to a biomimetic microphysiological system created on a bioengineered microfluidic device, representing the organ-level functional units. It can recapitulate the physiologically relevant structures and functions of the organs, as well as the interaction between multiple organs as in vivo, thereby offering alternative models for predicting human responses to various drugs and environmental stimulus. Organs-on-a-chip technology has wide application potentials in many fields such as life science, drug discovery, personalized medicine, food/environment monitoring and biological defense et al. The emergence of this technology has attracted much attention from the government, scientific community and industry due to its unique features and promising applications. It has been selected as the "Top Ten Emerging Technologies" by the World Economic Forum in 2016. Considering the huge market in industrialization, several companies have started to get involved in this area and the pace of industrialization has been accelerated rapidly. Human organs-on-a-chip scan not only reproduce the physiopathology of human organ, but it can also enable researchers to witness and study various biological behaviors of the organism in an unprecedented way. It could be used to analyze the occurrence and development of the complicated human diseases in a new perspective, and is expected to bring about a revolution in the traditional fields including biomedical research, drug testing, personalized medicine, toxicity prediction, biodefensive fields. Here, we summarize the origins, development, and application fields of human organson-a-chip technology. We also discuss the existing challenges and give perspectives for the development of this technology in future.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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