January 02, 2013
Biochips For Multi-Tissue Type Experiments

Why experiment with just one tissue type at a time when biochips will let us test drugs in complex systems of tissues? I'm happy to see DARPA funding this. Faster biomedical progress thru automation and miniaturization.

In a large-scale project recently funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration, several MIT faculty members are working on a “human-on-a-chip” system that scientists could use to study up to 10 human tissue types at a time. The goal is to create a customizable system of interconnected tissues, grown in small wells on a plate, allowing researchers to analyze how tissues respond to different drugs.

“If they’re developing a drug for Alzheimer’s, they may want to examine the uptake by the intestine, the metabolism by the liver, and the toxicity on heart tissue, brain tissue or lung tissue,” says Linda Griffith, the S.E.T.I. Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at MIT and leader of the research team, which also includes scientists from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Zyoxel and MatTek.

We need faster iteration rates for drug testing and other bio experimentation. Anything that'll cut cycle time will get us to better treatments sooner and more cures and methods to do rejuvenation.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 January 02 08:53 PM 

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