A new technology could reduce the need of animal trials for new treatments for human organs and bones, says research. The study carried out by researchers at Department of Materials Science and Engineering, at the University of Sheffield, Insigneo Institute for domain of silico Medicine, and Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain has led to the development of bone-on-a-chip device. It contains mini scaffolding that can be used to develop human bone tissue in the laboratory.
The study published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology demonstrates how the bone-on-a-chip can be used to develop tissue. Thereafter, the tissue can be used to examine new potential treatments for damaged bones.
Meanwhile, clinical testing of new medicines usually involves extensive in vivo testing using animal models. However, the new approach has been developed entirely in the laboratory, and reduces the need of animal models for research.
New device approach seeks to fabricate miniature versions of human organs
Based on the new approach, the objective of the specialty area of organ-on-a-chip is to fabricate small devices that contain mini versions of organs such as liver, bone, or lungs in the laboratory. Therefore, testing of new treatments on miniature version of human organs, underpins hope for higher success rate for finding such treatments that work on humans.
The aim, one day, is to connect the device developed to other organ-on-a-chip devices. This is to create a human-on-a-chip that would remove the need for research on animal models for the development of new medical treatments.
For usual clinical purposes, laboratory testing of new treatments is carried out on cells developed on flat, 2D surfaces. However, following the study, the team of researchers has developed three-dimensional scaffold structures within the newly created bone-on-a-chip device that bears resemble to real bone.