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Definition: organ on a chip

Combining living cells on a scaffold of natural or synthetic material. Because these 3D organ structures react far more like human organs than the 2D tissue samples used to date, it provides the pharmaceutical industry with a huge advantage. Organs on a chip can sometimes entirely eliminate the time and expense of animal trials, which are often inconclusive, and drug developers can be assured that their newly created medicines will be far less toxic when tested in human trials. See tissue engineering, lab on a chip and bioprinting.