A road trip to the Netherlands

The group composed of CoEBoC PIs and vice-PIs made a road trip to the Netherlands in the beginning of November 2018. The aim of the trip was to visit academia and industry from the organ on-chip field in forms of networking and possible collaboration.

One of the highlights of our trip was the International Organ on-Chip meeting (www.ioocs18.com/home ) in Eindhoven which gathered together over 180 researchers from organ on-chip-field, mainly from Europe. The meeting was very transdisciplinary containing plenary talks as well as presentations of the young talents. In addition, there was interactive poster session with over 55 posters including three posters from our Centre of Excellence; Susanna Narkilahti presented her groups study on building three-dimensional neural tissue block for body- on-chip platform and Joose Kreutzer presented the development of portable cell culture device.  In addition, we had general poster describing the research performed in Centre of Excellence in Body on-Chip research.

During the meeting, the new European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS) was officially launched. The Society will encourage development and coordination of Organ-on-Chip research in Europe in support of better health for all.

The research on organ-on-chip field is very strong in the Netherlands and there are interesting national organizations boosting the development of this transdisciplinary technology, such as hDMT and NOCI. We were happy to visit a couple of universities conducting organ-on-chip research, the department of Department of Mechanical Engineering Eindhoven University of Technology, TU/e as well as the department of Applied Stem Cell Technologies (AST) in University of Twente, Enschede. It was fascinating to see how they have combined biology and technology together!

In addition to the visits in academia, we made interesting visit to Philips on the High-Tech Campus (HTC) Eindhoven. We had a great chance to hear about the Philips’ strategy on the healthcare products and services as well as their research on in vitro technologies. In addition to Philips headquarters we visited Philips museum in downtown Eindhoven where we saw for example the old factory where Gerard Philips developed the first Philips incandescent lamp more than a century ago (https://www.philips.nl/en/a-w/philips-museum.html ).