Scientists are now developing “human organs in the chips” that mimic living tissue, and are expected to someday be able to reduce the dependence of natural science on animal trials.
Wyss Institute for Biological Engineering at Harvard University, USA, is an institution that is working on a project “microchip” a tool that is designed to mimic the function of human organs.
Director of the Institute, Dr. Donald Ingber, who is visiting the University of Melbourne’s public lecture, said the real goal of developing a super-mini tool is to replicate the human body into a ‘chip’.
“So you can test new drugs on top of a small line of the ‘chip’, digested, and then enter the vascular system, moving toward the heart, crushed, into the intestine, and discarded. You’ll see, if you have toxins in the liver and then decide whether the condition affects the bone marrow, “he told ABC.
He added that the institution is working create 15 different organs to be mounted on a that ‘chip’.
Dr. Donald explained, ‘chip’ that is being studied is not plagiarized “organ-level structure is complete,” but rather “small organ pieces that will have all the functions.”
“We use processing techniques ‘microchips’ to make a small hollow channel, such as tunnels, which have thin membranes throughout the body. We also have a way for them to breathe by creating suction within the hollow channel, all of the materials that are flexible and our conclusions – these tools such as three-dimensional version of a human organ, “explained the director.
He describes his research team have already made progress by replicating the lungs, liver, sewer or rectum, eye and heart.
“We entered the stage of connecting all the organs and cavities filled with fluid that carries oxygen and nutrients. We also can connect the fluid flow from the ‘chip’ to ‘chip’ the other, “he added.
Doctor Donald optimistic that this technology can have a big impact on the trials of medicines, cosmetics and other chemical substances.
“The idea is we reduce testing on animals by replacing at least one type of animal on one trial,” he said.
Dr. Donald expressed, the pharmaceutical industry is very supportive of this research.
“The drug companies want to have an instrument that allows them to simply install and enable the organ to the ‘chip’ like a DVD machine,” he said.