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Wonderful News: We May Have Reached The End To Animal Substance Testing!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

/ by Sajjad Sarwar
This is huge! Wow!

In a lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, a really promising group of scientists has reconstructed a human lung. They call it the lung-on-a-chip!

The lung-on-a-chip is a clear, flexible thumb-sized box containing two tiny channels separated by a thin membrane. One channel is lined with human lung cells and has air flowing through it, while a nutrient-rich liquid that acts as a blood substitute flows through the other, which is lined with blood-vessel cells. A vacuum applied to the chip moves the channels to re-create the way human lung tissues expand and contract when breathing.

Scientists have been experimenting with this concept of creating living systems on chips for more than a decade – cutting tiny grooves into silicon and plastic substrates, introducing living cells into the spaces, and hoping the end result will mimic a particular biological system, like a human organ. The idea is not to make replacement organs for transplant, but to replicate enough of an organ's functions to make the chips useful in testing substances for toxic and therapeutic effects.

In the video below you can see how this innovation works:

The device can replace animals in some experiments and has also led to new findings that would not have been possible using an animal.

The ultimate goal of the Wyss scientists is to build ten different organs and link them to create a whole body! This is promising!

The Design Museum in London has chosen its Best Design of the Year: a chip that replaces animal test subjects with a complex package of human cells!

Keep up the good work! It is really reassuring that there are still people who use money for good causes!

Source: Wyss Institute

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