Phase, Inc. partners with Harvard Medical School, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech on $1.8M NIH grant to 3D print microfluidic organ-on-a-chip models

The company’s novel 3D printing technology will create microfluidic devices embedded with valves, electrodes, and sensors to propel biological innovation

Phase, Inc., a company pioneering 3D printing technology for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip models, has been awarded a prestigious $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project will develop a blood-brain-barrier model that recreates the in vivo environment and will address the existing limitations of models of the brain used to treat neurological diseases and brain cancer. This builds on Phase’s work to create next-generation organ-ona-chip microfluidic models to accelerate pharmaceutical development and bioinnovation.

The two-year grant from the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences partners with Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech to develop and test the innovative 3D printing technology to create organ-on-a-chip models and microfluidics for biomanufacturing.

Phase’s proprietary innovation lies in its ability to 3D print microfluidic models using PDMS and other biocompatible materials with a resolution matching the biological scale. Their technology allows for valves, sensors, and electrodes to be integrated during the printing process. The company’s highly automated and reproducible process enables rapid customized iterations and scalable production. This novel approach will unlock the design freedom of 3D printing for organ-on-a-chip and microfluidic development, which will lead to significant advancements of models that mimic in vivo environment and advance biomanufacturing. As United States and European Union regulators seek to phase out animal testing, organ-on-achip models and microfluidics are becoming increasingly important to develop drugs, test toxicity, and recreate an in vivo environment using in vitro models.

“With the support of the NIH and with this team of leading researchers, we believe this project will not only help create a better blood-brain-barrier model, but also lay the foundation for creating other organ-on-a-chip models that will greatly benefit researchers and patients alike," said Jeff Schultz, Ph.D., MBA, and co-founder of Phase.

Partners on the project include:

This NIH grant builds upon several investments and support by governmental and biotech institutions including:

Phase is headquartered in First Turn Innovations, a Cornelius-based engineering and prototyping business incubator helping entrepreneurs advance their ideas from concept to testing.

For more information contact Co-founder Zeke Barlow at or 540-750-6317.

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