Organ-On-A-Chip Technologies for a Paradigm Shift in Advanced Biological Product Testing

A skin-on-a-chip model has been developed for cost-effective automated skin permeation studies


With a growing understanding of human biology, along with increased availability of innovative technologies, there is now an unprecedented opportunity to translate scientific discoveries into the latest, more effective and safer health interventions. 

Organ-on-a-chip is an innovative, alternative approach that would enable early indications and potentially more reliable readouts of toxicity and efficacy for biological product testing. It recapitulates the multicellular architectures, tissue-tissue interfaces, physicochemical microenvironments, vascular perfusion and innervation, producing in essence microphysiological systems that mimic human tissue and organ functionality. This would not possible with the conventional 2D or 3D culture systems. 

In the context of drug discovery and development, it is valuable for the investigation of molecular mechanisms, prioritisation of lead candidates, toxicity testing, and biomarker identification. 

Using microfluidics and miniaturisation capabilities, SIMTech researchers managed to develop a permeation array (mFPA) for cost-effective automated skin permeation studies. This skin-on-a-chip model has been validated against Franz cells which integrates skin culture and testing, to develop more realistic tissue models by mimicking the in vivo environment. This automated system is more reliable and efficient, and offers a higher throughput than existing methods available in the market. The system has been validated for permeation and irritation tests. A pilot project with a leading skincare multinational corporation (MNC) has been successfully carried out.

To increase awareness in the area of organ-on-a-chip/skin-on-a-chip, a masterclass will be held this month. The MasterClass will touch on the ongoing efforts and various applications of organ-on-a-chip technologies in advanced biological product testing. It aims to provide participants from industries, government laboratories and academia, with a state-of-the-art overview and an analysis of organ-on-a-chip technologies. The course will be conducted by international leaders in organ-on-a-chip research, innovation, and commercialisation.

For more information, please visit

Organ-on-a-chip is also proven to be useful for modelling human diseases

For enquiries, please contact
Dr Ng Sum Huan Gary, Deputy Director, SEAC