A device that has a series of three dimensional cells within it and that can mimic the activities of a liver, has been developed by researchers. This opens up its potential use in drug testing and personalized medicine.
The study said, "The chip-based model produces a faithful mimic of the in vivo liver inside a scalable fluid-handling device. The technique used a process called photopatterning to produce defined 3D constructs in a microfluidic system."
AdvertisementOne of the study authors Aleksander Skardal from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, US, said, "The first time we attempted to perform the in situ photopatterning - it just worked. Science is not always that easy, so we knew we might be onto something."
The study said, "The research team created a device architecture within which were a series of 3D liver cell constructs enclosed in a biopolymer that closely mimics the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) which the body uses to support cells in the liver. Surrounding the printed cells with this ECM makes this model a more realistic model of the cells in vivo."
The research team is now working to reduce the size of the 3D construct device. The researchers said, "This would open potential usage in drug testing and personalized medicine. Imagine being able to put, for example, tumor cells from a patient on a chip and test different drug cocktails on them. You could determine the effectiveness and side effects of different treatments on an individual basis without endangering the patient."
The results were published in Biofabrication.