How many times has Hollywood shown a heart or a liver laying on a table ready to go for a transplant? As you can probably guess that’s  not reality. The technical difficulties in sustaining an organ outside the body are too precious as transplants to use in experiments. That aside, there is something now called “organ- on- a- chip”. That and bioprinting are aiming to make a difference.

Organ-on-a-chip is “a multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems, a type of artificial organ.[1] It constitutes the subject matter of significant biomedical engineering research, more precisely in bio-MEMS. The convergence of labs-on-chips (LOCs) and cell biology has permitted the study of human physiology in an organ-specific context, introducing a novel model of in vitro multicellular human organisms. One day, they will perhaps abolish the need for animals in drug development and toxin testing.”

Many institution around the world have been using this this to further their research, in particular the Wyss Institute. Read below to see how this is making a difference.

 

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