One of the most substantial modern breakthroughs in alternatives research came from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in the form of the ‘organ-on-a-chip’ model in 2010. Scientists at the Institute have successfully produced a small silicon chip, no more than a few square inches, containing isolated living cells and tissues that can effectively mimic biological process and responses. This design recreates the conditions of an organ in vitro and allows researchers to study the effects of certain environmental and toxicity effects on single organs or, in some cases, multiple organs connected by an artificial circulatory system. For more information visit Wyss Institute’s webpage.

Since this initial breakthrough further developments in the technology by other researchers and institutions have led to multiple-organ-chips, with a key aim now being to produce a Human-on-a-chip, which recreates the interactions between multiple organs with increasing complexity.

The image used above is provided courtesy of TissUse GmbH and portrays a Multi-Organ-Chip invented and produced by them.
For more information on TissUse visit their website here.