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Microfluidic on-chip biomimicry for 3D cell culture: a fit-for-purpose investigation from the end user standpoint

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Liu, Y 
Gill, E 
Shery Huang, YY 


A plethora of 3D and microfluidics-based culture models have been demonstrated in the recent years with the ultimate aim to facilitate predictive in vitro models for pharmaceutical development. This article summarizes to date the progress in the microfluidics-based tissue culture models, including organ-on-a-chip and vasculature-on-a-chip. Specific focus is placed on addressing the question of what kinds of 3D culture and system complexities are deemed desirable by the biological and biomedical community. This question is addressed through analysis of a research survey to evaluate the potential use of microfluidic cell culture models among the end users. Our results showed a willingness to adopt 3D culture technology among biomedical researchers, although a significant gap still exists between the desired systems and existing 3D culture options. With these results, key challenges and future directions are highlighted.



3D culture, complexity, microenvironment, microfluidics, organ-on-chip

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Future Science OA

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Future Science Group
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M018989/1)
Royal Society (RG140479)
This work has been supported by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK under the grant number EP/M018989/1, and a Royal Society Research Grant. Y Liu received a studentship from the Schlumberger Foundation, and E Gill received a scholarship from the WD Armstrong Trust.