Modular immunocompetent multi-organ-chip integrating tumor, microenvironment and lymph node models to study cancer-immune interaction via non-invasive imaging

Replication and visualization of human tumor-immune interactions in a modular multiorgan chip

The goal of this collaborative project is to develop a novel and modular platform that enables the circulation of immune cells and the connection of multiple organ-on-chip (OoC) models, namely lymph node and tumor models. The developed platform will also enable novel, non-invasive imaging approaches to study cancer-immune interactions, enabling future approaches for drug and disease research.


The main goal of this proposal is to develop a human multi-organ chip that recapitulates immune-tumor interaction. The proposed solution is based on a modular multi-organ platform that enables the circulation of immune cells between a lymph node model and tumor models involving the tumor microenvironment (TME). In addition, the system enables monitoring through non-invasive, molecularly sensitive imaging. By choosing a modular integration concept, we are laying the foundation for combinable multi-organ chips that link individual organ modules from different developers that are already available or under development.

Bridging the gap between preclinical models, human immunity, and clinical metrics remains a major challenge in cancer immunotherapy. Conventional metrics in immuno-oncology represent destructive, discontinuous, and often time-consuming analyses. Combining the OoC approach with non-invasive, molecularly sensitive imaging techniques enables in situ monitoring and identification of cellular and metabolic features in tumor-immune interactions, as well as real-time feedback on tumor responsiveness.

The study of these parameters and their correlation with established measures will help to unravel the mechanisms of tumor-immune interaction and identify novel measures or biomarkers for cancer prognosis and patient-specific drug response.

01.04.2021 - 31.03.2024