Human Organs on Chips

Image: By Audrey Risser | Community Manager

Ashutosh Agarwal, primary investigator at the Physiomimetic Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Miami, is creating functioning organs outside of the human body that can mimic real organs. He does so by combining traditional engineering materials, like metal or plastic, with stem cells from rodents and humans. These artificial organs - hearts, lungs, pancreas - mimic the real ones, including normal functions and diseased states. The chips, about the size of a USB stick or credit card, are created through 3-D printing and 3-D milling with intricate, precise measurements.

The significance of this research endeavor has been recognized by NIH, the FDA, and received recent interest from pharmaceutical companies. Achieving the reproduction of human organ-level complexity in a dish can lead to a large number of applications, like testing drug molecules before running clinical trials, diving deep into disease mechanisms or creating better stem cells for therapy. Being able to build such models also enhances understanding of the underlying disease pathways, for instance those of type 1 diabetes, stage IV lung cancer, cardiac diseases, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

In short, these "organs on chips" can enable cheaper and faster drug development, discovery of therapies for some of the most intractable human diseases, and help make stem cell therapy a reality. They would also make the drug testing process cheaper and more reliable than the current animal testing process.


All the information on this page comes from the University of Miami News & Events website. Please visit http://news.miami.edu/stories/2015/11/organs-on-chips.html for more details on the research.

Human Organs on Chips

Human Organs on Chips

Ashutosh Agarwal, primary investigator at the Physiomimetic Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Miami, is creating f...
Ashutosh Agarwal

Ashutosh Agarwal

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami; Department of Pathology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute
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