Background: Kidney dysfunction resulting from various drugs is an important issue during the drug development
process. Traditional in vivo animal experiments are limited with respect to evaluating drug efficacy and
nephrotoxicity due to discrepancies in drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics between humans and animals,
and static cell culture experiments cannot fully reflect the actual microphysiological environment in humans.
Method: In this review article, authors collected manually relevant bibliographic databases including journal articles
and textbooks related to microfluidics, kidney-on-a-chip, and drug screening and interaction. In this review, we discuss
recent developments in microfluidic culturing technique and describe current and future kidney-on-a-chip applications.
Results: The pharmacodynamic and pathophysiological responses of cells are more realistic in microfluidic or 3D
culture systems than in conventional 2D culture systems. Recently, several types of kidney-on-a-chip have been
developed that reflect the microenvironment of the kidney tubule and have been shown to better reflect actual in-vivo
results of drug nephrotoxicity. Using kidney-on-a-chip, investigators can measure various drug-induced biological
responses. In the future, it is expected that a multi-organ chip will be utilized to examine the interaction between
kidney and other organs, and kidney-on-a-chip can be used in disease modeling and the development of new renal
Conclusions: Using kidney-on-a-chip, researchers can create experimental environments resembling the physiological
environments in human organs and obtain experimental results that better reflect human physiology. Kidney-ona-
chip can be used to overcome the drawbacks of traditional animal models and to more effectively identify drug
effects, interactions, and drug-induced nephrotoxicity.