The mission of hDMT, the Dutch Organ-on-Chip Consortium, is to develop and qualify cell culture models that mimic healthy and diseased human tissues based on Organ-on-Chip technology, and to facilitate their valorization and implementation. hDMT anno 2021 is a consortium, consisting of the hDMT foundation and 14 partner organizations, including (technical) universities, university medical centers and knowledge institutes. Researchers from different disciplines, varying from technologists and biologists to pharmacologists and clinicians, share their complementary expertise, facilities and ideas as a community.
Research is done by the partners and the partners are supported by the foundation. hDMT is a not-forprofit organization with the policy of open access publication, which makes use of the partner infrastructure. Valorization of research results occurs through a growing network of companies, that collaborate with hDMT partners in specific projects. These companies range from start-ups and scale-ups to biotech and the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics and chemical industries.
In addition, hDMT has built partnerships with strong Dutch consortia (e.g. RegMedXB, OnePlanet, HighTechNL, Nano4Society, HollandBio, MinacNed, NanoNextNL) and collaborates with the Proefdiervrij Foundation, (Association of) Dutch Health Foundations and governmental organizations, including Ministries, Topsectors Life Science and Health (LSH) and High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM), ZonMw, NWO, Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Towards personalized treatments for the present and next generation
The aim of the hDMT is:
- To develop innovative 3D human organ and disease models on chips that recapitulate healthy and diseased human tissue.
- To enable valorization and stimulate implementation of these models as test systems for different purposes
The main implementation in the development process of novel therapies, will be in drug testing in the latest preclinical stage before starting clinical trials, in the format of a “clinical trial on a chip”. This means that for a specific organ or disease model a number of chips will be available, each including a patient-derived organ/disease model derived from iPS cells isolated from a specific patient. In this way the real patient population is adequately represented in an in vitro form as “patients on a chip”. This will be done in a low throughput format. Using such an approach a blood-based diagnostic test can simultaneously be developed to predict whether a specific patient is likely to respond to the drug. Importantly, while patients can only “be used” once in a clinical trial, these in vitro “patients” can in principle be generated as often as needed.
The scope of the organ and disease models on chips is:
- Drug development (a.o. drug toxicity screening, drug target discovery)
- New diagnostics, cosmetics, life style devices
- Food additives, analysis of environmental contaminants
The models are applicable to a wide range of human-specific diseases, with genetic and/or immunological compounds, leading to personalized medicine.