‘Body on Chip’ Device Examines Drug Effects on Organs before Clinical Trial
Engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed technology called ‘body on a chip’ to detect side effects of new drugs on various organs of the body before testing them on humans
The advanced technology use microfluidic platform for linking engineered tissues of 10 body organs. The device can potentially test efficacy of drug to treat one organ. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports on March 14, 2018, and it was funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funded the research. According to researchers, device process can accurately replicate human organ interactions over several weeks, which can help in development of antibody drugs and other immunotherapies.
The organ involved in the process include, liver, lung, gut, endometrium, brain, heart, pancreas, kidney, skin, and skeletal muscle. Preclinical testing on animals offer data regarding a drug’s safety and effectiveness, but it cannot reveal potential side effects on humans. “Some of these effects are really hard to predict from animal models because the situations that lead to them are idiosyncratic,” said study author Linda Griffith, a professor of biological engineering and mechanical engineering at MIT. “With our chip, you can distribute a drug and then look for the effects on other tissues, and measure the exposure and how it is metabolized.”
Along with this, MIT researchers developed a new technology named physiome on a chip, which allows tissues to grow and interact with each other by mimicking the functions of human organs. It also allows fluid to flow in and out and a way to manipulate functions inside the chip. An open allows manipulation of system and removal of samples. As results of study, drug was successfully delivered to gastrointestinal tissue, mimicking oral ingestion of a drug. Team monitored the pathway for transportation of drug along with its effects on different tissues. The institute is currently working on developing a model system for Parkinson’s disease that includes brain, liver, and gastrointestinal tissue.
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