EUROoC Network

EUROoC will create a trans-European network of application-oriented researchers fully trained in development and application of the emerging Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) technology. The field of OoCs is advancing at breath taking pace due to its potential impact in drug development and personalised treatments of disease. New researchers entering this field must be equipped with a multidisciplinary background ranging from biology to microfluidic chip engineering. EUROoC will offer the first complete and coherent European training program on OoC by gathering participants from various disciplines (Biology, Engineering, Medicine, Physics, Chemistry) in a multi-sectoral network composed of 4 companies (3 SMEs), 2 regulation entities and 10 academic institutions. EUROoC will qualify the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists for all aspects of OoC development and utilisation, including understanding of commercialisation pathways and regulatory aspects.

Objectives

The main objective of the EUROoC proposal is the support of innovative research projects, which together target the development of advanced Organ-on-a-chip systems with higher physiological significance that go beyond the culture of monolayers on inert membranes and that directly integrate endpoint analysis. The scientific work is structured in WPs representing examples of three main tissues functionalities i) mechanical systems, ii) barrier systems, and iii) metabolising systems and an additional WP on integration, application and validation.

The second major objective of the EUROoC proposal is to train the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists to be adept in all aspects of Organ-on-a-chip development and utilisation. The necessary paradigm shift from classical 2D dish culture to 3D culture systems and microfluidic OoC systems also creates new requirements on the skillsets and expertise of the scientists responsible for the development and utilisation of those systems. Hence, to enhance the career perspective and employability, broader interdisciplinary aspects in the training of PhD students are urgently needed.

The third main objective of the EUROoC proposal is to create a trans-European network of interdisciplinary specialists working on different aspects of Organ-on-a-chip development from academic institutions, industrial stakeholders, and regulatory agencies. The EUROoC consortium combines expertise in a variety of disciplines by linking experts in stem cell biology, the human microbiome, microfabrication engineering, biomaterials, and sensor development into interdisciplinary teams focused specifically on OoC systems

Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Germany

Role in the project:

Coordination, Organ-on-a-Chip Developer, Cardiac and adipose tissue engineering

Jena University Hospital, Germany

Role in the project:

Chair of scientific board, PI: development of liver-on-chip with metabolic patterning, PI: development of gut-on-chip stably colonized with synthetic commensal microbial communities, models of dysbiosis, PI: development of immunocompetent organ models based on hiPSC

Graz University of Technology, Austria

Role in the project:

Sensor development for in situ monitoring of cell viability and metabolism in organ-on-chips

University of Bern, Switzerland

Role in the project: 

Organ-on-a chip, development of disease models, lung tissue engineering, microfluidic systems.

Uppsala University, Sweden

Role in the project:

Microfluidic methods for bead-based assays on-chip
Chair of the Recruitment Committee

University of Twente, The Netherlands

Role in the project:

Microfluidic Technology

Sensor technology

Retina-on-chip

Disease modeling

Outreach

Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands

Role in the project:

3D Vessels-on-chip

Heart-on-chip

hiPSCs

hiPSC-derived Endothelial Cells

hiPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes

hiPSC-derived Inflammatory Cells

University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Role in the project:

gut-on-a-chip

induced pluripotent stem cells

systems biology

microbiome

multi-omics

metabolism

modelling

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Role in the project:

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Germany

Role in the project:

Organ-on-chip developer

Bone tissue engineering

Alternative methods to animal experiments

Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, Germany

Role in the project:

Development of standardized protocols for the generation of heart microtissue, Development of a microfluidic-based heart-on-chip model allowing for non-invasive evaluation of cellular function, Evaluation of methods for transplanting cardiomyocytes to the heart-on-chip model and non-invasive monitoring of transplant integrity and function

AstraZeneca plc, United Kingdom

Role in the project:

Hosting secondments and delivering specialised training courses

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

Role in the project:

Hosting secondments

Pyro Science GmbH, Germany

Role in the project:

Hosting secondments and delivering specialised training courses

Transgene SA, France

Role in the project:

Hosting secondments

UPM – The Biofore Company, Finland

Role in the project:

In contribution to the EUROoC project, UPM is hosting secondments offering the possibility to learn about innovative wood-based materials to be used in organ-on-a-chip and microfluidic devices.

hDMT, The Netherlands

Role in the project:

hDMT’s objectives are to develop human organ and disease models that closely mimic healthy and diseased human tissues and organs, through Organ-on-Chip Technology and to enable valorization and implementation of these models and make them available to interested users for all kind of applications by open access publication

University of Basel, Switzerland

Role in the project:

Hosting secondments and delivering specialised training courses

Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany

Role in the project:

PHD programme

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands

Role in the project: 

Hosting secondments and delivering specialised training courses

Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, Germany

Role in the project: 

Hosting secondments

Input of regulatory expertise

EUROoC Conference

The EUROoC ITN is partner of the European Organ-on-Chip Conference, which will take place in Graz, Austria on 2-3 July 2019

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OoC in Europe

EUROoCS

The European organ-on-chip society was launched at the third International Organ-on-Chip Symposium, held on 8 and 9 November 2018 at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The Society will encourage development and coordination of Organ-on-Chip research in Europe in support of better health for all. Membership will be open from 2019 to all researchers in the field, providing access benefits to the pending digital Organ-on-Chip platform, the annual meeting and the future society journal. The 2nd EUROoC Conference will take place on 2-3 July 2019 in Graz.

FET-Open CSA Orchid

The long-term goal of the EUROoC consortium is to build a trans-European collaboration platform for OoC research. In this framework it is working together with the FET-Open CSA project ORCHID, which is an EU initiative, coordinated by Leiden University Medical Center and the Dutch Organ-on-Chip consortium hDMT in The Netherlands and aims to create a roadmap for organ-on-chip technology and to build a network of all relevant stakeholders in this promising innovative field.