Online Laboratory Magazine


Cells-on-chip as a powerful experimental tool


JRC scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Lyon (Fr), reviewed the latest advances in multiplex cell microarrays for high-throughput screening allowing for high-throughput analysis.

Considerable efforts have been recently devoted to the development of advanced micro-systems for studying cellular functions. Advantages such as high throughput analysis, reduction of cell population heterogeneity, reproducibility and well-defined cell culture conditions make these systems very attractive for a wide range of applications ranging from biomedical research and drug discovery to toxicology, stem cell research and therapy.

In the present review latest development in cell microarrays are described. New research trends are focusing on the development of automated, high-throughput and multiplex methods for the study of cellular growth and functions in a 3D environment. In this regard, array-based formats have proved their efficacy as enhanced-throughput platforms for 3D culture of various cell types, and much effort is now being directed towards cell culture models that better reflect in vivo function. In this context, organs-on-chip have emerged to provide new tools for better evaluating the effects of various chemicals on human tissues.

These new development are very promising for supporting regulatory decision making in providing needed information on the toxic potential triggered by the nanospecific properties of nanotechnology based pharmaceuticals.

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Source: European Commission, Joint Research Centre