The objective of the research project is the development of a device to serve as platform for uninterrupted continuous operation of novel human multi-organ chips (MOC) for systematic long-term toxicity tests of substances. The main task for the Fraunhofer IWS is to integrate the software and adapt the interchangeable heads to a lab-on-a-chip platform. The platform consists of an innovative dual-level robotic portal system that can provide sterile operation and is equipped with integrated fluorescence measurement capability, a photometric system, a fluid metering system, and pipette changing system.
Human multi-organ chips are intended to completely replace animals in systemic toxicity tests for the first time by situating the chips on a temperature-controlled support plate in a sterile environment. This plate is accessed from above and below by two 3D gantries equipped with interchangeable heads. The upper metering head can be arbitrarily positioned and is responsible for the continuous parallel supply of media for the chip as well as the introduction of test substances. Equipped with a sensor module to measure fluorescence, the lower sensor head is responsible for multispectral real-time monitoring and can be precisely positioned without making direct contact.
The robotic portal system facilitates conduct of complex, precise, fully-automated, user-defined processes spanning many months at high throughput levels with continuous monitoring and logging.