The Dutch Research Council (NWO) is investing about 22.7 million euros in seven projects for innovative scientific infrastructure. For the University of Twente over 3 million euros will go to the Organ-on-Chip Development Center (hDMT INFRA OoCDev) led by Andries van der Meer. In addition to hDMT INFRA StemCells, this is the second Service Center of Expertise that will be developed within hDMT to accelerate the implementation of Organ-on-Chip technology.
Organs-on-chips are cultured mini-organs that are used to study the safety and efficacy of food and medical drugs. The development of new organs-on-chips is complex, because it relies on expertise in microfabrication, microfluidics, cell culture, tissue engineering and microscopy. The new facility ‘hDMT INFRA OoCDev’ will enable the development of innovative organs-on-chips by bringing together groundbreaking infrastructure and technical expertise. The facility will be embedded in a national organization and will play an important role in boosting the development of even more realistic organs-on-chips.
Andries van der Meer
This facility will make it possible to develop organs-on-chips that are truly next generation, with working three-dimensional tissues, blood flow and dynamic loading.
The Organ-on-Chip Development Centre provides a central location for this pioneering work, not only for local researchers, but precisely for all scientists from other institutes affiliated to the national ‘Institute for human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT)’.
Recently another grant of almost 13.5 million euros has been awarded to hDMT INFRA StemCells from the National Roadmap Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure of NWO. This funding will be used to establish a national state-of-the-art infrastructure, led by hDMT, that will provide support in setting up and conducting studies on stem cells to all researchers across the Netherlands and beyond.
RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE: NATIONAL CONSORTIA
The projects are awarded in the research programme ‘Research Infrastructure: national consortia’, the new name of NWO Investment Grant Large. With this funding, NWO is strengthening the scientific infrastructure that Dutch knowledge institutions can make available to the research community. Scientists from throughout the Netherlands often work together and with international partners within the projects where the new facilities will be realised. Other investments from NWO are for: Phased array radar for extreme weather analysis and prediction (PHARA), Shining light on atomic-scale processes (SHINE), The Africa Millimetre Telescope: Making colour movies of black holes, The Dutch Comprehensive Childhood Cancer Commons: A national resource for tackling pediatric cancer worldwide, Expanding the new window upon our Universe: gravitational-wave discoveries with Advanced Virgo Plus and Pulsed Laser Deposition Lab for Energy Research: New materials for green chemistry and transport.