Editorial November 2021

Vital network on Organ-on-Chip

With this last hDMT newsletter of 2021 we look back to another fruitful year with many new initiatives, grants and researchers in the field of Organ-on-Chip. During the recent annual hDMT Consortium meeting with many participants online, we have officially ended the lustrum year by presenting the booklet on 5 years of hDMT. We would like to thank all people within the hDMT Consortium for their valuable contribution to the Organ-on-Chip field and for being part of our vital community during the past 5 years.

Now the year 2022 lies ahead with new big challenges for hDMT. These include the setup of an infrastructure on human organ and disease models, called hDMT INFRA, aiming to facilitate and structure knowledge utilization and application via self-sustainable Centers of Expertise (CoE) in all hDMT partner organizations. These centers with complementary expertise will be embedded in a national framework, which is coordinated by hDMT. The Organ-on-Chip Center Twente (OoCCT) and the iPSC & Organ-on-Chip Hotel in the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) will serve as blueprints for future CoEs.

Another challenge is to set up an internationally distinguished production supply chain in the Netherlands, which is built on a new generation of (bio)production technologies. This supply chain will be capable of producing biotech products on large scale for personalized diagnostics (Lab-on-Chip), development and stratification of tailored therapies (Organ-on-Chip, Organoids) and regenerative medicine (Artificial Organs, Cell Production Equipment).  If the application for this purpose is granted by the Dutch investment instrument National ‘Groeifonds’ all relevant Dutch suppliers of production equipment and processes for biomedical technologies will be brought together in a single ecosystem, in order to establish this unique and first-of-its-kind production chain, that will be open to (new) European partners. Standardization and qualification of the resulting products will be main topics that will be addressed by the Consortium.

Finally, the many new challenging research projects on Organ-on-Chip, with national and international collaborators, that have recently been started or will start next year, are essential for the generation of new insights and will contribute to the acceptance and application of this innovative technology.

We look forward to another exciting year and are confident that 2022 will enable researchers of the community within hDMT, in Europe or worldwide to meet each other again in person.

Executive Board hDMT

Christine Mummery, Berend van Meer and Janny van den Eijnden-van Raaij