It’s getting hard to keep up with the pace of developments at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. In the space of one recent week, researchers announced two significant advances in their organs-on-a-chip program. “Bone-marrow-on-a-chip” allows non-animal drug and toxin testing on cultivated bone marrow artificially sustained by a microfluidic platform. Watch the Wyss Institute’s introductory video here.* “Heart-disease-on-a-chip” combines Wyss’s organ-on-a-chip technology with stem cell engineering, to cultivate functional heart tissue from stem cells manipulated to express Barth Syndrome, a cardiac disorder caused by a genetic mutation. Embedded on a microfluidic device, the engineered heart tissue exhibits the same weak contractions seen in the heart muscle tissue of Barth Syndrome patients. The technique advances prospects for personalized medicine – including customized toxicity testing – by showing that it is possible to grow and test functional tissues with specific genetic mutations.
Visit the Wyss Institute web site for more information on the organs-on-a-chip program.
*For other informative videos, including some from the Wyss Institute, see our Informational Video resource page.