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Organ-on-a-Chip Network and Emulate Proof of Concept Awards

The UK Organ-on-a-Chip Network and Emulate, Inc. are pleased to offer Network members the opportunity to apply for a Proof of Concept Award to use a brand new core facility at Queen Mary University of London, The QM+Emulate Organs on Chips Centre.

PoC Award Aim: The aim of the PoC award is to enable academics to generate preliminary data to support future grant applications and further use of the Emulate platform. This initiative will provide a limited number of blank organ-chips, hands-on training on the Emulate platform; and support to run a proof of concept experiment using the chips.

The total initiative, generously supported by Emulate, consists of approximately £100k of funding which is being used to support multiple research projects providing access to £120,000 of state-of-the-art organ-chip technology available at The Queen Mary+Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre.

Emulate’s platform has been adopted by 10 of the top 25 biopharmaceutical companies, by U.S. governmental agencies, and by academic research centres worldwide and provides an exciting opportunity for members of the UK Organ-on-a-chip Network to engage with this technology.

Applications for Proof of Concept projects may develop new chip models or use Emulates current optimised organ models which include: LiverProximal Tubule KidneyBrain, Lung, Colon Intestine and Duodenum Intestine.

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Award: Each project will be provided with the following (there is no additional cash funding):

  • 8 Blank Emulate Organ-Chips
  • Hands-on training using the Emulate Organ-chip platform (a one day session will be arranged in Feb/March 2022 for successful applicants from the current call)
  • Support to refine the proposed proof of concept experiment
  • Centre Scientist/Technician time to run the proof of concept experiment at the Queen Mary+Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre

Each project PI will be required to pay the access fee of £600 which covers access to the Centre for the hand-on training and associated administration costs and some basic consumables. For projects requiring longer running time, such as those using the lung chips, additional charging may be necessary.

Applicants will need to complete a project proposal form detailing the organ model they wish to use/develop, a brief outline of the proof of concept experiment they wish to conduct and information on how they intend to use the data generated to leverage further research funding.

Deadlines:  This initiative will operate a rolling call, application deadlines are as follows:

  • 15th September 2020 (Closed)
  • 1st March 2021 (Closed)
  • 10th December 2021 (Call now open!)
  • April 2022

Eligibility: : To apply for this proof-of-concept award applicants must be eligible for UKRI funding.

Completed project proposal forms to be returned to the Centre ( by 16.00 on the day of the deadline.

Download an application »

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel consisting of members of the network management group and the Emulate Centre's joint steering committee. The will next meet on 21 January 2022. 

Round 1 Awardees:

Advancing Human Synovial Joint Chips

Principal investigator: Karina Wright, Keele University
Co-investigators: Sally Roberts, Keele University
Charlotte Hulme, Keele University

Investigating the diagnostic and drug-screening potential of endothelial-tomesenchymal transition during liver fibrosis

Principal investigator: Neil Dufton, Queen Mary University of London
Co-investigators: James Whiteford, Queen Mary University of London

Modelling anti-fungal immunity in the human intestine

Principal investigator: Neil McCarthy, Queen Mary University of London
Co-investigators: Carol Munro, University of Aberdeen
Daniel Pennington, Queen Mary University of London

Production and validation of a bovine lung-on-a-chip to study bovine respiratory diseases

Principal investigator: Mark Chambers University of Surrey
Co-investigators: Diane Lee, University of Surrey
Geoff Smith, North Carolina State University
Ronald Baynes, North Carolina State University


Round 2 Awardees:

Investigating the role of tumour associated myeloid cells on malignant cell invasion in a metastatic high-grade serous ovarian cancer-on-chip model

Principal investigator: Prof Fran BalkwillQueen Mary University of London
Co-investigators: Dr Mina Mincheva, Queen Mary University of London