THE LUNG-ON-A-CHIP

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

This is the most ad­vanced or­gan-on-a-chip, de­signed by Har­vard’s Wyss In­sti­tute. The chip acts just like a hu­man lung and has al­ready helped sci­en­tists test new drugs and look for mark­ers for asthma and chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. The chip can be seeded with dis­eased cells from a pa­tient, which re­tain their ail­ments when planted in the chip. This al­lows re­searchers to find bet­ter treat­ments for a spe­cific pa­tient’s needs.

In the di­a­gram be­low, you can see how Wyss In­sti­tute re­searchers trig­gered a re­sponse to in­fec­tion in the chip.

The lung-on-a-chip is about the size of a mem­ory stick. It is made of clear, rub­ber ma­te­rial and con­tains hol­low chan­nels Rhyth­mic suc­tion is ap­plied so the cells con­tract and re­lax, to mimic breath­ing mo­tions 2. As bac­te­ria start to at­tack the lung...

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