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Looking to the future of organs-on-chip

June 06, 2017

A new special issue from Future Science OA examines novel organ-on-a-chip research and provides expert insight into the future of the field.

It is well-accepted that 2D cell cultures are not fully reflective of the in vivo environment. This leads to issues translating research to the clinic. In a bid to overcome this, advances in lab-on-a-chip technology have begun to allow the development of platforms where cells, spheroids and tissue cultures can be cultured, thus allowing more accurate analysis and translation.

Organ-on-a-chip (OOAC) technology holds great potential in helping screen drugs in a more cost-effective manner, reducing failures, costs and pipeline time. Further potential advantages of OOAC technology going forward include a reduced need for animal models, and improved ability to personalize patient treatment.

The new special issue from Future Science OA sees Guest Editor John Greenman (University of Hull, UK) and an international group of experts discuss work at the forefront of OOAC research. "There are so many areas of biomedicine that require accurate and reproducible models of the human system," commented Greenman. "The ability to keep organs in a functional state on chip, either alone or combined, will offer an ethically acceptable platform with real power to transform our understanding."

The issue contains novel perspectives from across the multidisciplinary field, including both academics and those working in industry. In addition to in-depth discussion of various applications of OOAC including work on heart-on-a-chip, stem cells, spheroids and tissue biopsies, the issue presents new research into maintaining tumor biopsies and a survey evaluating end-user attitudes toward microfluidics-based cell culture.

"It has been a pleasure working with such a broad range of experts in the field to develop this timely special issue on OOAC," commented Francesca Lake, Managing Editor of Future Science OA. "We hope the issue will stimulate further research into this up-and-coming field, and are excited to see what the future holds."
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The full issue is open access, and available at: http://www.future-science.com/toc/fso/3/2

The issue foreword is available from: http://www.future-science.com/doi/full/10.4155/fsoa-2017-0040. An introductory video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyAKF7bOQeA.

Future Science Group

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