The event was a fantastic opportunity to discover future directions of the research and innovation in this area and build new collaborations for future endeavours. Excellent speakers presented their groundbreaking research and results using OoC and organoid technologies. Panel discussions addressed cutting-edge advancements in the field and explored ways to accelerate the translation of these advanced in-vitro models from the lab into real-world industry and clinical applications, e.g. in personalised medicine and drug development. We also had the pleasure to connect with our partners from Elveflow, who were represented at the conference with a booth exhibiting their state-of-the-art microfluidic instruments.
Our key takeaways from the workshop include the fact that OoC technology is the emerging state of the art in biomedical research and will play a determine role in the future. The field has progressed immensely in last 20 years, however many challenges remain which hinder or slow down the adoption on a large, industrial scale. These include the questions of standardisation / harmonisation of the technology for enhanced cross-compatibility, questions of validation and model qualification as well as regulatory acceptance. As a result, OoC are currently used and developed mainly on a smaller, experimental scale for research applications and are not yet accepted as a gold standard in large-scale industrial applications (e.g. drug development), or in clinical applications (e.g. personalised medicine, regenerative medicine). Neverhteless, there is a big European innovation ecosystem with many SMEs and startups active in the field and developing novel solutions for biomedical research, which result in a lot of innovation activities, demonstrating the huge potential for revolutionising drug development, disease research and personalised medicine.