Organ-on-chip: Multi-compartmental Tumor-on-a-chip to study breast cancer, the MTOAC project

Breast cancer is one of the most fatal cancers for women all over the world. Even if significant progress has been made in the past few decades regarding breast cancer treatments, the drug distribution at a molecular level is not fully understood yet and some treatments remain ineffective.


Image credit: Photo created by jcomp for

Currently cancer research is mostly based on studies performed either on 2D cell culture, which is not representative from real in vivo conditions, or directly on living animals, leading to ethical issues and questionable extrapolation to humans.

Organ-on-a-chip technology, and in particular tumor-on-a-chip, offers a powerful alternative to be more realistic and to better understand breast cancer mechanisms.

In this project, we will recreate the environment of breast tumors by surrounding tumor organoids with fibroblasts and endothelial cells, all types of cells being coculturate into a biocompatible hydrogel. In this tumor-on-a-chip, the microenvironment of the cells will be carefully controlled thanks to Elveflow® pressure controller combined with valves and actuators. We will test different combinations of anti-cancer drugs in order to study the existing synergies between them and better understand how they interact with the tumor. This drug screening will allow to develop more effective breast cancer treatments.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 MSCA-IF under grant agreement No 795754 (MTOAC project).



Dr. Subia Bano

Research Associate

  • Post-Doc at the University of Eastern Finland
  • Post-Doc at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative biology (India)
  • PhD in Biotechnology (Indian Institute of technology, India)

AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Tissue engineering, Biomaterials, Drug Delivery, Tumor-on-chip

Have a read here on breast tumor-on-chip devices written by Dr. Subia Bano.


Guilhem Velvé Casquillas

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