Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 11/27/2023

Miniaturization and Automation of Tissue Chip Systems (MATChS) (UT1/UT2 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Microphysiological Systems (MPS) are bioengineered microfluidic devices seeded with human cells and tissues that recapitulate organ systems and function. MPS systems are starting to emerge as an alternative to 2-D culture and animal studies and play a crucial role in drug discovery, regulatory approval, safety and efficacy assessment and precision medicine studies. However, the MPS systems so far require extensive time, personnel effort, and cost for acquiring and analyzing data. In order to achieve industry adoption and regulatory acceptance, the miniaturization and automation of assays is required.  NCATS funded a Chips in Space consortium which further developed MPS systems to be used in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) biomedical research under microgravity conditions. Through partnerships between NCATS, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space, the Tissue Chips in Space program has made key technological innovations towards automation and miniaturization required for space flight. This Miniaturization and Automation of Tissue Chip Systems (MATChS) NOFO has the central goal of improving the instrumentation platform that supports tissue chips using general principles of automation and miniaturization similar to the experiences from the Tissue Chips in Space program that will result in ease of use and broader accessibility of tissue chips for use on Earth.

This NOFO provides support using the STTR cooperative agreement mechanisms for the development of MATChS. Applications in response to this NOFO would include those proposing research and development of tools and turnkey technologies for higher throughput automated measures with on-line sensing, rapid acquisition and analysis of data to reduce manual handling.. Funded projects will result in an increased availability of miniaturized automated tissue chip platforms for use in drug development and across multiple applications as a major research tool in biomedical research laboratories.  As a cooperative agreement, small business concerns (SBCs) will be expected to develop milestones and benchmarks, and work with NIH staff towards progress in the aims of the project to develop an automated system and demonstrable pathways to commercialization.

Companion FOA: RFA-TR-23-017 , U43U44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreements - Phase I/ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Cooperative Agreements - Phase II


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): January 22, 2024
  • Application Due Dates: Feb 22, 2024; Feb. 24, 2025; Feb 23, 2026

RFA-TR-23-018 Expiration Date February 24, 2026

Eligibility Requirements

Only United States small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to submit applications for this opportunity.