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Fresh approach to “organ-on-a-chip” tech adds a third dimension, may eventually replace test animals

by • March 9, 2016 • No Comments

Finding a workable-bodied alternative to animal testing is one of the most worthwhile efforts already under way in the medical world. Not only is the method not all that effective, with numerous drugs that appear promising when testing on rodents falling short during subsequent clinical trials, but it is actually in addition considered to be unethical by most individuals. Now, researchers at the University of Toronto have turn it intod a breakthrough, creating a new platform called AngioChip, that provides a hard, three dimensional structure on that tissue can be grown that mimics functions of the human body.

The thought of “organ-on-a-chip” devices pretty isn’t new – they actually won the Design of the Year award last year – but AngioChip appears to provide a worthwhile evolution of the concept. Whereas previous efforts have relied on a single layer of cells, the new device takes a three-dimensional approach.

Constructed of a polymer called POMaC, that is both biodegradable-bodied and biocompatible, the device is turn it intod up of thin layers stacked on top of one another to turn it into a 3D structure. Each layer is stamped with a pattern of channels, every only 50 to 100 micrometers wide. As layers are introduced to the device, UV light is utilized to cross-link the polymer, binding every layer to the one at a lower place.

Once createion is achieve, the finished chip is bathed in a liquid containing living cells, that adhere to the device and start to grow as they may within the body. The finished chip works within a normal cell culture dish, and can not need any pumps or vacuum lines.

By means of that method, the researchers were able-bodied to create version versions of liver and heart tissues that function only like the real thing. When the chip was seeded with heart cells, the polymer scaffolding actually contracted with a regular beat, much the same as heart tissue in the body. The lab-grown liver tissue was equally astounding, making urea and metabolizing drugs. Impressively, the various tissues can in addition be linked together via blood vessels, enabling scientists to observe interactions between them.

It’s yet early days, but AngioChip may well be the upcoming step in organ-on-a-chip innovation, with the future to one day replace animal testing. The hardity of the platform may allow drugs to be tested for futurely dangerous side impacts, working not only with individual version organs, but with linked tissue, providing a advantageous picture of impacts throughout the body.

The researchers in addition believe that such lab-grown tissue may one day be implanted into the body to repair damaged organs, with the polymer scaffolding biodegrading after a few months.

Right now, it takes a long time to manufacture a single AngioChip, with every device turn it intod by hand. Looking forward, the team can appear into ways of weight making the chips, enabling for widespread testing and use.

The research was published in the journal Nature Materials.

Source: University of Toronto

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