Emerging Technology


Microchips Lined by Living Human Cells

What is it?

"With their ability to host and combine the different cell and tissue types making up human organs, organs-on-chips present an ideal microenvironment to mimic human-specific pathophysiologies and enable molecular and cellular scale analysis and identification of new therapeutic targets within an organ-level context in vitro." Wyss Institute

Update 6/6/2017

Read more: Around 90% of drugs that have been validated when tested in a petri dish or on animals then failed during clinical trials because of toxicity or lack of effectiveness. 


Flower Mound High School student Steven Redding  shared a new technique he researched as part of his Capstone Seminar group. Steven's group worked on a project focused on animal testing.  This new technique he discussed is basically a human organ on a chip. It could save the lives of countless animals used for medical testing. Tissue and chip technology mimic the mechanical and biochemical behaviors of human organs.

Lung-on-a-chip and Gut-on-a-chip

It will change how we test drugs. Researchers and a multidisciplinary team of collaborators are engineering microchips that recapitulate the microarchitecture and functions of living organs, such as the lung, heart, and intestine. These microchips, called organs-on-chips, could one day form an accurate alternative to traditional animal testing. Each individual organ-on-chip is composed of a clear flexible polymer about the size of a computer memory stick that contains hollow microfluidic channels lined by living human cells. Because the microdevices are translucent, they provide a window into the inner workings of human organs. Read Article