Organs-on-Chips: An Alternative to 3D Bioprinting?
Reported by: Irina Robu, PhD
“Human “organs-on-chips” are composed of a clear, flexible polymer about the size of a computer memory stick, and contain hollow microfluidic channels lined by living human cells.
These 3D organ and tissue models allow researchers to recreate the physiological and mechanical functions of the organ, and have the potential to eliminate the need to use animals for drug development and toxin testing. While saving animals has a certain feel good element to it, it is more likely the cost savings that will appeal to pharmaceuticals looking for alternatives to existing drug testing methods. Scientists test potential pharmaceuticals on animals because it is too dangerous to perform initial tests on humans. The problem with this method is that more often than not, the predictions gleaned from animal tests will fail when a compound is tested on humans.”