Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 449-467.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2019.07.044

• Review •     Next Articles

Microfluidic models in liver drug metabolism research

Lin Zhao, Yong Jiang, Pengfei Tu, Xiaoni Ai*, Xiaoyu Guo*   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
  • Received:2019-04-12 Revised:2019-05-18 Online:2019-07-31 Published:2019-06-04
  • Contact: Tel.: +86-010-82805641; +86-010-82802750; E-mail:;
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81573684 and 81530097), Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Project (Grant No. Z181100002218028) and National Key Technology R & D Program “New Drug Innovation” of China (Grant No. 2018ZX09711001-008-003).


In pre-clinical phase of new drug development, it is particularly important to establish an in vitro model to mimic the metabolism situation of human body. The aim of the in vitro model is to reduce the usage of experimental animals and to make a more accurate prediction of the drug metabolism in vivo. Microfluidic chip is an emerging technology to establish predictive models. By integrating subcellular fractions, hepatocytes or liver tissue in the microfluidic chips, more predictive in vitro metabolismmodels can be established for drug development. The microfluidic platform offers dynamic and controlled fluids, as well as sophisticated liver tissue assembly to remodel the physiological and pathological microenvironment of liver in the human body. This review updates the microfluidic-based liver drug metabolism models since 2011, and summarizes the development of different models based on different chip vectors (subcellular components, primary hepatocytes, and tissue sections). It serves as a guide for newcomers to this dynamic field.

Key words: Microfluidic chip, Liver models, Drug metabolism

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