Examples of organs that are simulated by an organ-on-a-chip
There are several examples of instances of an organ on a chip company that produces an organ-on-a-chip that successfully mimics an organ or organ system. Although these microfluidic achievements are still new to the scientific world and there are many differences in their designs and the approaches that researchers take, the following examples show that an organ on a chip company can produce an organ-on-a-chip quite successfully indeed:
Comparing an organ-on-a-chip to a 2D and 3D model
The first organ-on-a-chip that were produced by an organ on a chip company were, in fact, mainly 2D models. That is, they were predominantly flat. After an organ on a chip company produced the first 3D variant, the advantages were clear. 3D cultured cells are better, because they allow for a more complex differentiation of tissue organization. That is, an organ-on-a-chip that is modelled in 3D allows for an organ-on-a-chip that looks more like the real organ or organ system.
Example of a lung that was produced on a chip
An example of a successful organ on a chip company is one that produce a lung on a chip. The specific instance was created to better be able to research the uptake of oxygen and other substances through the use of in vitro models. The Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineer at Harvard, for instance, created a thin lung composed of mainly PDMS. This substance, polydimethylsiloxane, successfully mimicked a real life lung and thus allowed for progress in science in this area. As such, it also became less necessary to use animal samples for research. This is not only an important step for animal rights, but is also more cost efficient.