Advancing Tumor Microenvironment Research by Combining Organs-on-Chips and Biosensors

Isabel Calejo, Marcel Alexander Heinrich, Giorgia Zambito, Laura Mezzanotte, Jai Prakash, Liliana Moreira Teixeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Organs-on-chips are microfluidic tissue-engineered models that offer unprecedented dynamic control over cellular microenvironments, emulating key functional features of organs or tissues. Sensing technologies are increasingly becoming an essential part of such advanced model systems for real-time detection of cellular behavior and systemic-like events. The fast-developing field of organs-on-chips is accelerating the development of biosensors toward easier integration, thus smaller and less invasive, leading to enhanced access and detection of (patho-) physiological biomarkers. The outstanding combination of organs-on-chips and biosensors holds the promise to contribute to more effective treatments, and, importantly, improve the ability to detect and monitor several diseases at an earlier stage, which is particularly relevant for complex diseases such as cancer. Biosensors coupled with organs-on-chips are currently being devised not only to determine therapy effectiveness but also to identify emerging cancer biomarkers and targets. The ever-expanding use of imaging modalities for optical biosensors oriented toward on-chip applications is leading to less intrusive and more reliable detection of events both at the cellular and microenvironment levels. This chapter comprises an overview of hybrid approaches combining organs-on-chips and biosensors, focused on modeling and investigating solid tumors, and, in particular, the tumor microenvironment. Optical imaging modalities, specifically fluorescence and bioluminescence, will be also described, addressing the current limitations and future directions toward an even more seamless integration of these advanced technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics and Biosensors in Cancer Research
Subtitle of host publicationApplications in Cancer Modeling and Theranostics
EditorsDavid Caballero, Subhas C. Kundu, Rui L. Reis
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-04039-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-04038-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Bioluminescence
  • Biosensors
  • Cancer
  • Imaging
  • Microfluidic systems
  • Organs-on-chips
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • 2023 OA procedure

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