Emulate Inc. has developed transparent chips the size of AA batteries that mimic different body organs. Initially, these organ chips are supposed to help researchers learn how drugs affect certain organs of the body. Eventually, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hopes these chips can also be used to determine the safety of different products like cosmetics, dietary supplements and certain foods.
Work on these organ chips began in 2012, with institutions like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) collaborating with one another. Now that the FDA has signed up as part of the project, product testing on animals might be nearing its end.
FDA’s work will be done under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). As reported by Endpoints News, Emulate President and CSO Geraldine Hamilton said: “The focus is to assess the system’s capability, putting the chips, software and instrumentation in the hands of FDA researchers, so they can better understand its potential in surpassing animals for this kind of work.”