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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Apr;14(4):248-60. doi: 10.1038/nrd4539. Epub 2015 Mar 20.

Organs-on-chips at the frontiers of drug discovery.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
2
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Improving the effectiveness of preclinical predictions of human drug responses is critical to reducing costly failures in clinical trials. Recent advances in cell biology, microfabrication and microfluidics have enabled the development of microengineered models of the functional units of human organs - known as organs-on-chips - that could provide the basis for preclinical assays with greater predictive power. Here, we examine the new opportunities for the application of organ-on-chip technologies in a range of areas in preclinical drug discovery, such as target identification and validation, target-based screening, and phenotypic screening. We also discuss emerging drug discovery opportunities enabled by organs-on-chips, as well as important challenges in realizing the full potential of this technology.

PMID:
25792263
PMCID:
PMC4826389
DOI:
10.1038/nrd4539
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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