Chip Off the Old Block
Mini-organ technologies are on the rise, but could analytical approaches hold the key to supercharging their potential?
Steven Wilson | | Opinion
Organoids and organ-on-a-chip technologies represent two potential game-changers in the study of human biology. The former are three-dimensional tissue models derived from primary tissues, embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, while the latter are miniature organs that are grown in or introduced into a microfluidic device, allowing for the real-time tracking of responses to a given stimulus.
Not only are these developments conceptually exciting, but they’re also emerging as important tools in drug development. Animal models are often not accurate predictors of human physiology, and so preclinical success is not necessarily indicative of subsequent success in humans, which results in anticlimactic results, lost time and wasted money. Here, organoids and organ-on-a-chip technologies serve as important complementary techniques.
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