Wake Forrest Baptist Institute for Regenerative Medicine is set to begin the ‘body on chip’ project with a goal to replicate human cells and have them function on a small scale the jobs of human organs. Including the heart, liver, blood vessels, and lungs.
The objective is to use 3D printing, or bioprinting, to create the human tissue and culture it on a microchip, to observe the effects of drug treatments. Their hope is to reduce the need for animal testing of drug treatments, and get a more accurate portrayal of the effects of treatments on the human body.
The concept is to engineer miniature organ-like parts and link them together in a circulatory system with a blood substitute. Like that of the electronics industry, these bodies would be placed on 2 inch chips to provide monitoring of the organs and the system as a whole in real time.
According to Dr. Clint Florence, acting branch chief within the Translational Medical Division at DTRA, this development, if successful ‘would significantly decrease the time and cost needed to develop medical countermeasures which would have a direct and positive affect on the ability of the United States government to respond to a chemical or biological attack’.
The use of bioprinting, has multiple applications within the medical and scientific communities and is serving to be a very useful tool for experimentation and therapy developments like this one.