PTube Chip

Microfluidic in vitro model of the proximal tubule in microtiter plate format produced by 3D bio-printing.

The goal of this collaborative project is to develop a novel, organ-like, 3D printed in vitro model of the proximal tubule in a microfluidic perfusable chip in a multi-well plate format for use in drug development and testing.


Renal toxicity is one of the most commonly described adverse events reported during new drug development. In nephrotoxicity studies, the proximal tubule is of particular interest because the relevant processes primarily occur at this site of the kidney.

Data from available preclinical mouse models cannot be accurately extrapolated to humans due to significant species differences in expression, substrate specificity, tissue distribution, and presence of clinically relevant drug transporters, among other factors. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry has embraced the 3Rs approach (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animal Testing, Directive 2010/63/EC), and is seeking alternatives to animal testing for testing new drugs.

Using 3D bioprinting of cells of human origin together with a suitable extracellular matrix into a microfluidic chip, an in vitro model is developed that mimics the situation in the human body. For this purpose, in addition to an advanced print head, novel gel materials as well as microfluidic chip devices are simultaneously developed and evaluated.

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023


Dr. Hanna Hartmann

Head of Biomedicine & Material Sciences
Group Leader Regenerative Biomaterials