An organ-on-a-chip (OOC) is a multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems, a type of artificial organ. It constitutes the subject matter of significant biomedical engineering research, more precisely in bio-MEMS.
Microfluidics is the science of manipulating and controlling fluids, usually in the range of microliters (10-6) to picoliters (10-12), in networks of channels with dimensions from tens to hundreds of micrometers.
Microfluidic devices are used extensively in medical diagnostics and pharmaceutical testing. They are also used in biological studies, since they can operate at the level of a single cell.
In vitro testing
In vitro (meaning: in the glass) studies are performed with microorganisms, cells, or biological molecules outside their normal biological context. Also called test-tube experiments or lab testing, these studies are traditionally done in labware such as test tubes, flasks, petri dishes etc.