In 2018, more than 1,4 million patients in the Netherlands were diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative disease. The annual occurrence of this disease is expected to increase of 41% in 2040 due to the aging population. The exact mechanism of OA development remains unclear, but biomechanical, anatomic, and functional factors play an important role and risk factors include age, gender, former injuries, trauma and obesity. However, due to the lack of a clear picture, the current developing disease-modifying osteoarthritic drugs are currently uncapable of treating the patient if not from the pain. This is mainly due to the absence of good in vitro models able to recapitulate both healthy and diseased conditions.
Organs-on-a-chips are a type of artificial organs that possesses the ability to simulate activities, mechanics and physiological response like that of an organ system. These micro-physiological microfluidic cell culture systems are primarily being used in drug development research, drug toxicology research and life sciences because of their ability to imitate human microenvironments in vitro. The global organ-on-a-chip market comprises products that are adopted in various applications by a diverse set of end users. Our vision is to have what we call a Joint-on-chip system. A multi-organ platform which enables the study of different diseases conditions including osteoarthritis.