About 1% of the world's adult population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, enduring pain and disability, as these are the hallmarks of this chronic joint inflammation. As no cure has been found yet, research into this highly complex disease is needed. Fibroblast-like synoviocytes have been discovered as one of the key players as they are crucial for synovial lining layer formation which leads to cartilage and bone degradation. By culture of synoviocytes in a 3-dimensional Matrigel matrix on chip, lining layer formation similar to in vivo could be achieved. Coupling of these micro-scaled biochips with non-invasive light scattering enabled the time-resolved analysis of rheumatoid arthritis in it's early stage. Light scatter measurements as complimentary insights in parallel with microscope images revealed that the inflamed condition, induced in vitro by administration of tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha, yields higher cell proliferation, increased production of adhesive molecules and a more dense lining layer formation than healthy, untreated synoviocytes. Thus this powerful in vitro technique confirms what has already been reported in literature for in vivo, therefore making it a promising tool for further research, as it offers the ability to rapidly screen drug impact on rheumatoid arthritis.