Science Market Update

Harvard Lung-on-a-Chip Biotechnology Breathes Life into Drug Research

Posted by BCI Staff on Fri, Nov 09, 2012

At the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, in the Longwood medical neighborhood in Boston, researchers have reached a biotech milestone with tremendous potential for future drug testing and development. Instead of resorting to animals for testing, they may soon be using a simulated organ that lives on a chip. It has mechanical and biological (cellular) parts, and yes, it breathes, thanks to a vacuum system that pumps air through. The bio-inspired micro-device has gone through several tests recently to assess its accuracy in mimicking the human lung when bacteria or potentially toxic drugs are introduced. Results: Positive. The lung-on-a-chip replicates responses found in animal models and observations of human lung function. Indeed, because the device uses human lung and blood vessel cells, it acts may act more like a lung in a human body than lab animals.

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Tags: Northeast, Lab-on-a-chip Technology, 2012, Massachusetts, Cancer, biological, Boston, BioResearch Product Faire Event, MA, Harvard, innovative solutions, Drug Development, Harvard Medical School, bio medical research

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