Hybrid business models for ‘Organ-on-a-Chip’ technology: the best of both worlds

L.H.M. van de Burgwal, P. van Dorst, H. Viëtor, R. Luttge, E. Claassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Current in vitro and in vivo preclinical models often have limited predictive value for translation to the clinical setting. The emerging ‘Organ-on-a-Chip’ (OOC) technology provides a better resemblance to the human physiology through combining 3D configuration of human-derived cells with microfluidic techniques, potentially improving translation. However, due to the disruptive nature of the OOC technology, it is unclear how to best achieve a product-market fit. Data on currently employed business models was collected by 14 semi-structured interviews with representatives from OOC companies. Customer needs were collected by means of an online questionnaire among 62 (potential) end-users. Both companies and customers preferred the Hybrid business model, in which both products and services were offered. Customized services were only moderately preferred over standard services, limiting the potential for price premiums. Razor blade business models facilitate investments in laboratory equipment while locking in the purchase of disposable OOC devices. Current and future generations of in vitro technologies would benefit from combining the best of product and service business models into the Hybrid business model. Downward price pressures are expected to lead to ever-lower pricing and to facilitate more predictive, high throughput screening with a high societal impact on the longer term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Business model
  • Hybrid model
  • Innovation
  • Organ-on-a-Chip
  • Preclinical


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