Tissue chips merge techniques from the computer industry with those from bioengineering by combining miniature models of living organ tissues onto a transparent microchip. Ranging in size from a coin to a house key, the chips are lined with living cells and contain features designed to replicate the complex biological function of a specific organ. The goal is to develop human tissue chips that simulate the structure and function of human organs, such the lung, heart, liver, and kidneys. Scientists could then use these tissue chips to test drug candidates and predict their safety before the next step, human drug studies. This approach is expected be more rapid and cost effective than those currently available.
Last date updated on July, 2014