Table. 1.

Biomimetic organ-on-a-chip developed for drug screening

Organ/system Type of chips Characteristics
Brain Brain development on a chip Multiple types of brain cells including neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, and endothelial cells are cultured in the chip system
Blood-brain barrier on a chip The brain cells and blood vessels are separated by a membrane that acts like the blood-brain barrier
Heart Heart on a chip The human iPSC-derived heart tissue in the chip is beating as a heart in the human body
Muscle Muscle on a chip The muscle cells to multiply and self-organize into bio-engineered muscle bundles
Lungs Lungs on a chip The bronchial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) based on an airway are in a chip to establish a healthy airwayThe healthy bronchial SMCs treated with a chemical (IL-13) to establish an asthmatic airway
Liver Liver on a chip A liver on a chip consisted with hepatocytes, stellate cells, Kupffer cells, and endothelial cells
Liver and heart on a chip The human heart and liver tissues derived from hiPSC are on a chip
Liver, heart and microvessels on a chip The iPSC-derived liver cells added to a special biomaterial to create a liver module and integrated with similar modules with cardiac cells or microvasculature
Kidneys Kidney on a chip The tiny human blood vessels were placed on a device that mimics the environment inside the human kidney
Gastrointestinalsystem Gut on a chip It consists of gut tissue and nerves that stimulate the action of smooth muscle that controls gut motility
Female reproductivesystem Female reproductive tract on a chip The top layer of the chip consists of multiple components that individually support the cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries, which are integrated on the platform. The bottom two layers hold the tiny channels and ports that mimic the human environment
Blood vessels Blood vessels on a chip The bioengineered vessels can deliver oxygen and nutrients into the tissue, and contract and dilate in the human body do to help regulate body temperature and metabolism
Microvessels on a chip Functional microvessels derived from iPSC form networks capable of fluid flow and deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues
Fat (adipose) Adipose tissue on a chip Human adipose tissue is on a 3D chip system
Skin Skin on a chip The iPSCs-derived skin cells in a 3D chip have transformed into different types of skin cells and organized themselves into layers as actual human skin
Disease models Metastatic breast cancer in the liver The breast cancer cells are placed on the liver chip system seeded to create a model of metastatic breast cancer in the liver
Rare heart and muscle condition The cardiac chips using iPSCs from a patient with Barth syndrome displayed a weakened heartbeat and poorly organized structure that mimics a Barth syndrome patient’s heart
Tumor with blood vessels The tumor chip includes functioning blood vessels, which tumors in the body need to stay alive

Various kinds of tissue-on-a-chips for drug screening programs developed by the Center for Advanced Translational Science (NCATS), US. hiPSC, human induced pluripotent stem cell. The information on the table was prepared by referring to the contents posted on the NCATS website ( in August 2020.

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2020;24:441-452
© Korean J Physiol Pharmacol