Implementing organ-on-chip in a next-generation risk assessment of chemicals: a review

Katharina S. Nitsche*, Iris Müller, Sophie Malcomber, Paul L. Carmichael, Hans Bouwmeester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Organ-on-chip (OoC) technology is full of engineering and biological challenges, but it has the potential to revolutionize the Next-Generation Risk Assessment of novel ingredients for consumer products and chemicals. A successful incorporation of OoC technology into the Next-Generation Risk Assessment toolbox depends on the robustness of the microfluidic devices and the organ tissue models used. Recent advances in standardized device manufacturing, organ tissue cultivation and growth protocols offer the ability to bridge the gaps towards the implementation of organ-on-chip technology. Next-Generation Risk Assessment is an exposure-led and hypothesis-driven tiered approach to risk assessment using detailed human exposure information and the application of appropriate new (non-animal) toxicological testing approaches. Organ-on-chip presents a promising in vitro approach by combining human cell culturing with dynamic microfluidics to improve physiological emulation. Here, we critically review commercial organ-on-chip devices, as well as recent tissue culture model studies of the skin, intestinal barrier and liver as the main metabolic organ to be used on-chip for Next-Generation Risk Assessment. Finally, microfluidically linked tissue combinations such as skin–liver and intestine–liver in organ-on-chip devices are reviewed as they form a relevant aspect for advancing toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic studies. We point to recent achievements and challenges to overcome, to advance non-animal, human-relevant safety studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-741
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Gut-on-chip
  • Liver-on-chip
  • Microfluidics
  • Next-generation risk assessment
  • Organ-on-chip
  • Skin-on-chip


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