ECR Proof of Concept grant for Albert van den Berg for standardised Organ-on-Chip infrastructure
The European Research Council has awarded hDMT PI Albert van den Berg of the University of Twente, an ERC Proof of Concept grant for furthering standardisation in organ-on-chip infrastructure. Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each, aim to help ERC grantees to explore the innovation potential of their scientific discoveries and bring the results of their frontier research closer to market.
Organ-on-Chips are believed to revolutionise the way we develop drugs or select personalised therapies. Recapitulating human response both from healthy and diseased individuals potentially even enables 'clinical trials in-a-dish'. While research in this field is thriving and commercial start-ups have been founded, adoption from end-users is staying behind for a number of reasons: lack of standardisation makes chips incompatible, lack of automation limits the throughput and user-friendliness of the systems and there is limited support for sensor integration.
The Translational Organ-on-Chip Platform (TOP) is designed to overcome these hurdles and has been developed for internal use during the ERC project VESCEL. The research will work on a robust interconnect, validate and identify difficulties in making a third-party chip TOPcompatible, validate the use of TOP for biological experiments and finally determine the commercialisation strategy for TOP.
Albert van den Berg: "We believe TOP can help more end-users to adopt Organ-on-Chip as a technology in their lab because in contrast to current setups, the open technology of TOP supports chips from third parties are inter-compatible, multiplexable and controlled automatically. TOP will be the standardised Organ-on-Chip infrastructure allowing users to stop worrying about control systems and only focus on chips and biology."