In vitro disease models are used in biomedical research to study human diseases or to develop novel pharmaceutical reagents. Although these models are widely used in academic research, the current manufacturing and characterisation steps rely on sequential, time-consuming tasks which are performed mainly manually in a low throughput mode. These drawbacks of the current workflow are ultimately limiting the advancement and widespread adoption of this emerging technology.

The article outlines a perspective view in which it is argued that a paradigm shift is warranted to advance the field of in vitro disease models, promote reproducible data sets, and thereby enable widespread adoption of the technology. D/Prof Dietmar Hutmacher and PhD student Sebastian Eggert discuss the current limitations and the demand for automation for generations to come. To foster the scientific rigour as well as the applied research potential, innovative engineering concepts are required to successfully implement a high degree of workflow automation to enable increased throughput for the manufacturing as well as the screening process. 

To address the high demand for automated approaches, PhD student Sebastian Eggert is working on the development of novel automated workstations for the manufacturing as well as screening workflows. The presented automation set-up will enable researchers to conduct systematic characterisations and scale their experiments to generate reliable data sets.


The original article published in Biofabrication is now online. Please use the link to view.