Organ-on-a-chip technologies accelerate development of safe and effective therapies by providing data on human tissue interaction, making it possible to identify successful therapies earlier, faster, and cheaper than animal studies. Using multiple, clinically relevant measures of tissue function, Draper technologies enable precise human tissue testing enabling a preliminary look at human toxicity and efficacy before clinical trials and animal studies begin.
A leader in microfluidics, Draper drives innovation in organ-on-a-chip research. To date, we have fielded 10 distinct single-organ tissue models, separate models for organoids, solid tumor, and immunoncological cancer, and revolutionary multi-organ platforms to model the holistic and interconnected function of human organ systems. Designed for seamless integration into standard laboratory equipment and drug evaluation pipelines, our technologies maximize flexibility and throughput—achieving 5-10 times the data output of other platforms. With parallel, integrated sensors, our platforms deliver far more high-quality data than other preclinical models, making preclinical testing for drug development more predictive and enabling novel drug discovery avenues.
Draper develops highly reproducible customized models for culturing any human tissue, replicating any disease, or utilizing any tissue source, and accommodating virtually all biological assays and “omics” studies. We conduct feasibility and library compound screening and expedite technology transfer for our clients and partners. We aim to bring the benefits of organ-on-a-chip technology directly to drug discovery and development to enhance human health research and improve lives.
Frequently Asked Questions about Draper’s Organ-on-a-Chip Technologies
Media is kept in a sterile, recirculating circuit for each channel (both for a top and bottom channel within each device) and is driven by pneumatics that never contact the media. As much as 240 µl and as little as 20 µl can be used for each channel under fluidic pumping without repercussions (bubbles or media spill). Media is easily sampled from reservoir wells from a 384-well plate top and each tissue plate is compatible with any liquid handling system or multi-pipettor.
Most common ECMs, including common commercial ECM-based hydrogels, have been successfully implemented in the PREDICT96 system. Thin layers or full-channel gels also have been used for specific tissue contexts. ECM can be re-added if desired throughout the experiment.
The number depends on the tissue model, but to date up to 60,000 cells have been integrated into each device. Draper also has demonstrated that cells can be added during the experiment or extracted for flow cytometry at high yield in either channel. Precise seeding in either channel and in all co-culture formats can be implemented through multiple optimized seeding mechanisms proprietary to this plate design.
The pump lid is extremely durable and most pump lids have been re-used and run for dozens of experiments over many years without reduction of performance. Draper has optimized multiple effective cleaning and realizable sterilization procedures for pump re-use.
Just one pressure and vacuum source. Most of these can be split to run four or more systems at once from one central source. A pressure/vacuum regulator is necessary to confirm optimal functionality. Setting up the system for functional pumping has been performed successfully in many laboratories and is amenable to virtually all BSL2 facilities.
Yes, Draper routinely conducts qRT-PCR, bulk and single cell RNA sequencing, secretomics and multiplexed secretion analysis, FACS, quantitative permeability assays, and TEER measurements in most tissue models. These analyses almost never require device pooling or sacrificing throughput. Many of these assays are automatable via standard external liquid handling equipment and/or onboard integrated sensors.
Yes, plate and material design have been optimized specifically for robust optical clarity. Draper has produced high resolution images in multiple high-content, confocal, and cell counting imaging equipment.
The combination of precision microfluidics, high cell-to-volume ratio and proprietary precision seeding modalities in the plate design have afforded long-term culture of tissue sources that are difficult to use in traditional culture formats. These sources—including human disease patient cells, animal species-specific tissue, primary tumor biopsies and poor adhesion-qualified primary human cells—have maintained high functionality and viability for weeks or more in all Draper organ-on-chip platforms.