By M.P. Pellicer | Eerie.News
Columbia University has a created a mini-me version of human organs on a chip. What's more impressive is they are linked together by the same genetics, the same as when they're inside the human body.
Each sample measures about a millimeter, and it can help tremendously in biomedical research.
This chip allows modelling of body functions and diseases, and they can be maintained for months. Drugs can be tested for safety on more than one organ system. The tissues are linked by immune cells.
On a patient level, this allows for testing of different drug therapies for a particular person, and response to injury.
Within four weeks a mature liver, heart, bone and skin tissues were cultured from a single human stem cell, generating a chip specific to that person.
According to the project leader Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic: "This is a huge achievement for us. After 10 years of research on organs-on-chips, we still find it amazing. The beating heart muscle, the metabolizing liver and the functioning skin and bone that are grown from the patient’s cells."
This breakthrough allows for doctors to see responses from a patient's own DNA, on connected organs, which has it own compartment on the chip.
The researchers chose to experiment with the adverse effects of doxorubicin a widely used anticancer drug. They found the chip "predicted precisely the cariotoxicity and cardiomyopathy" effect of the drug. This would allow the dosage to be adjusted or withheld altogether depending on the effect on that particular patient.
Variations of the chip are being used by the research team to study "breast cancer metastasis; prostate cancer metastasis; leukemia; effects of radiation on human tissues; the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on heart, lung, and vasculature; the effects of ischemia on the heart and brain; and the safety and effectiveness of drugs".
A user friendly, standardized chip is being developed for use in clinical and academic laboratories.
Photo Source - Kacey Ronaldson-Bouchard/Columbia Engineering
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