EUROoC - Interdisciplinary training network for advancing Organ-on-a-chip technology in Europe
EUROoC will create a trans-European network of industrially oriented specialists fully trained in development and application of the emerging Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) technology. OoC technology 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 multidisciplinary participants (biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers) 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. EUROoC furthermore comprises a collection of innovative research projects addressing the development of advanced OoC systems with higher physiological significance going beyond current in vitro testing. The EUROoC project will create advanced OoCs, which closely recapitulate properties of the respective organ tissues in vivo regarding cell types, microenvironment, organ-specific tissue structure and function as well as concepts for the interconnection of individual OoCs. The various OoC models to be developed comprise heart-on-a-chip, bone-on-a-chip, retina-on-a-chip, lung-on-a-chip, adipose- on-a-chip, gut-on-a-chip to liver-on-a-chip. The OoC systems will be able to monitor and analyse tissue functionality and response in situ by integrating various novel sensing elements. The OoCs developed will be pre-validated with the regulatory partners through in vitro-in vivo correlations. The research and training program planned will increase European competitiveness sustainably in this emerging key technology.