Hepa Chip+

In vivo near microfluidic 3D liver cell culture system.

Improved drug discovery through in vivo-like cell culture systems


Undetected liver toxicity is often the cause of drug failure and carries a high risk for patients and pharmaceutical companies. The NMI is developing the HepaChip®, a novel, body-like model of the liver that can be used to reliably check drug effects at an early stage.

Toxic side effects of drugs on the liver are often only detected when the drug is already being used on the patient. The reason for this is the inadequate validity of currently used test systems. Results from animal experiments are often not transferable to humans, while test systems from human cells are usually only stable for a few days. In order to keep human liver cells functional over longer periods of time, we are developing a novel cell culture system, the so-called HepaChip®. By combining methods from biology, biochemistry and microsystems technology, cells can be accumulated and cultured in an organ-like environment (see links for videos). This stabilizes the life span and function of the cells and the cells react to substances in a similar way to cells in the human liver.

01.10.2012 - 30.09.2015