Breaking the third wall: Implementing 3d-printing technics to expand the complexity and abilities of multi-organ-on-a-chip devices

Yoel Goldstein, Sarah Spitz, Keren Turjeman, Florian Selinger, Yechezkel Barenholz, Peter Ertl, Ofra Benny*, Danny Bavli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The understanding that systemic context and tissue crosstalk are essential keys for bridg-ing the gap between in vitro models and in vivo conditions led to a growing effort in the last decade to develop advanced multi-organ-on-a-chip devices. However, many of the proposed devices have failed to implement the means to allow for conditions tailored to each organ individually, a crucial aspect in cell functionality. Here, we present two 3D-print-based fabrication methods for a generic multi-organ-on-a-chip device: One with a PDMS microfluidic core unit and one based on 3D-printed units. The device was designed for culturing different tissues in separate compartments by integrating individual pairs of inlets and outlets, thus enabling tissue-specific perfusion rates that facilitate the generation of individual tissue-adapted perfusion profiles. The device allowed tissue crosstalk using microchannel configuration and permeable membranes used as barriers between individual cell culture compartments. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation confirmed the capability to generate significant differences in shear stress between the two individual culture compartments, each with a selective shear force. In addition, we provide preliminary findings that indicate the feasibility for biological compatibility for cell culture and long-term incubation in 3D-printed wells. Finally, we offer a cost-effective, accessible protocol enabling the design and fabrication of advanced multi-organ-on-a-chip devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number627
Pages (from-to)1-14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel (M-ERA.NET project 3-14911).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 3D-printing
  • Microfluidic
  • Multi-organ-on-a-chip
  • Organ-on-a-chip
  • multi-organ-on-a-chip
  • organ-on-a-chip
  • microfluidic


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