'Liver on a chip' an advanced microfluidic in vitro model for liver toxicity & safety screening.

Lead Participant: Stemnovate Limited


One of the biggest challenge in drug discovery is figuring out which drug candidates are likely to harm the liver before testing the agents in humans. Owing to species specific differences in liver pathways, and limited physiologically relevant information from in vitro models silent hepatotoxic drugs get introduced into clinical trials, garnering huge financial losses for drug companies through withdrawals and late stage clinical failures. Stemnovate and partner ANB sensors supported by leading pharmaceutical company Johnson's and Johnson's pharmaceuticals aims to deliver 'Liver on a chip' an in vitro testing platform that could recapitulate liver response to evaluate predictable and unpredictable hepatotoxins over the breadth of genetically diverse human population. Our 'Liver on a chip' will be a bioinspired cell culture and assay system designed on a microfluidic chip with sensors for monitoring microenvironment allowing long term mechanistic studies. This physiologically relevant drug screening platform will counteract disadvantages associated with current practices that use primary hepatocytes, cell lines and animal models through use of functional and stable cells (hepatocytes) generated from patient specific and genomically diverse induced pluripotent stem cells. The system will allow spatiotemporal control of various chemical and physical culture conditions that are unavialable with other methods. The 'fast failing' can reduce the average R& D cost per product launch by $ 30 Million, and also increase launch rate by 25% while reducing animal research and improving drug safety.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Stemnovate Limited £1,065,012 £ 745,508


ANB Sensors Ltd, Cambridge £123,248 £ 86,274


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