Testing Drugs On See-Through Microchip Organs
Progress in the medical field depends greatly on conducting experiments on human beings to test new drugs, surgical equipment and techniques. Corpses are mainly used for this purpose, still their use doesn’t solve all the problems. Researchers from the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering together with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are now working on see-through computer chips, such as lungs, heart and intestine, which will imitate functions of the human organs. Each organ is made of a clear flexible polymer with the size of a computer memory stick, their shape differs from the shape of the real body organ. The microchip organs feature hollow microfluidic channels lined with living human cells; the cells enable scientists observe reaction of these organs to new drugs. The researchers team aims to recreate at least 10 of the body’s most essential organs to study complex human physiology safely. This innovative technology could help eliminate the necessity for testing drugs on animals.