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Human Skin-on-a-Chip for Cost Effective Screening of Chemicals, Drugs and Cosmetic Products

Technology Overview

An automated microfluidic system for mimicking the function of the blood flow to culture and test skin explants and 3D skin equivalents in a unique microenvironment so that natural skin properties and conditions are established.

Driven by the global need for reliable alternatives to animal models, this organ-on-a-chip technology offers integrated research processes for more realistic and cost-effective screening of chemicals, drugs, and cosmetic formulations.

It provides an advanced testing platform for preclinical safety and efficacy studies to contract research organizations (CROs), cosmetic and pharmaceutical manufacturers, and ingredient providers, as well as for disease studies and development of new organ models and assays to research labs.

Technology Features & Specifications

In skin research, state-of-the-art alternatives to animal testing are real skin explants (ex vivo) or 3D skin equivalents reconstructed in the lab (in vitro). The methodologies currently used with these alternatives rely on very simple skin models and tedious manual operations. The human skin-on-a-chip system provides an automated platform for mimicking the function of the blood flow to culture and test skin explants and 3D skin equivalents in a unique controlled microenvironment.

The novelty of this technology are in the microfluidic devices for integrated culture and testing of tissue explants and 3D cell cultures. These devices are placed in a bespoken benchtop equipment for automating the testing procedures and minimise manual operations.

Compared to conventional technology, it enables more realistic non-animal studies, higher throughput screening, a 10 time reduction in biomaterials consumption, and a 10 times reduction of specialized manpower.

Potential Applications

The scalability and wide spectrum of screening applications of this technology make it a powerful tool for different markets:

·         Skincare market, e.g. for permeation, irritation, and claim validation testing;

·         Drug screening market, e.g. for safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics studies in preclinical trials on other tissues and organ models

·         Perecision cosmetics and precision medicine, e.g. in combination with stem cells technology to provide personalized screening of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products

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