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Interdisciplinary training network for advancing Organ-on-a-chip technology in Europe (EUROoC)


This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research programme on alternatives to animal experiments.

EU support programme: Horizon 2020, MSCA, ETN

H2020 grant agreement number: 812954

Project homepage:

Project description

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 need to be equipped with a multidisciplinary background ranging from biology to engineering. EUROoC will therefore offer the first complete and coherent European training program on OoC by gathering a multi-sectoral network composed of companies, government agencies, and academic institutions. EUROoC will qualify the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists for all aspects of OoC development and utilisation, including commercialisation pathways and regulatory aspects. EUROoC furthermore comprises a collection of innovative research projects addressing the development of advanced OoC systems to increase physiological significance when compared to current in vitro testing. The EUROoC project will create advanced OoCs, which closely recapitulate properties of the respective organs or tissues in vivo regarding cell types, microenvironment, structure and function. Furthermore, concepts for the interconnection of individual OoCs to multi-organ systems will be developed. The various OoC models in the EUROoC project comprise heart, bone, retina, lung, adipose tissue, gut- and liver. 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 within the ITN will be pre-validated in cooperation with the projects’ regulatory partners through in vitro-in vivo correlations. The EUROoC research and training program will support an increase in European competitiveness regarding this emerging key technology.

BfR part of the project

BfR will lead WP 7 (Validation and Implementation): The main objective of WP7 is to validate the developed systems using in vitro/in vivo correlation. As complete validation of a method for regulatory purposes requires massive resources and may take several years, it is obvious that a full formal validation is not achievable within the available time frame. Thus, we aim to perform important pre-validation steps, which later on can support and speed up a formal validation. This includes an assessment of reliability and relevance.

BfR will also participate in WP 4 (Mechanical Systems), focusing on the development of OoC systems with controlled mechanical properties for heart and bone, where mechanical loading is essential to their structure and function.

Furthermore a workshop about 3R principles and Regulatory requirements will be organized by the BfR together with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Project participants

  • Beneficiaries:Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Germany
  • Jena University Hospital, Germany
  • Graz University of Technology, Austria
  • University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Uppsala University, Sweden
  • University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands
  • University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland


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