While stem cell technology has made it possible to generate any tissue type in a dish even in 3D culture settings, one major limitation has been that most of these cultures only involved one tissue type. This was mostly because each cell type required specific culture media. We try to circumvent this limitation by using organ-on-a-chip technology which enables culturing multiple cell types within a single ‘chip’ where each cell type is fed by separate microchannels. Yet, the different cells types are still close enough to interact. This allows us to study the interaction between tissues generated from patient-derived stem cells.
As UMCG we are involved in a large national consortium that brings organ-on-a-chip technology to a new level. Within Regenerate, we connect researchers with expertise of stem cell technology with researchers that further develop organ-on-a-chip technology, expediting the application of organ-on-a-chip technology with patient-derived pluripotent stem cells.