Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Automation & Microfluidics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers to Engineer Kidney Tissue Chip for Predicting Drug Safety

Published: Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Seattle researchers will be part of the new federal initiative to engineer 3-dimensional chips containing living cells and tissues that imitate the structure and function of human organs.

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 Seattle team will design, implement and test a tissue-engineered human kidney microphysiological system.  Kidneys, which clear the blood of waste products, are among the sensitive organs that can be damaged by certain medications, environmental toxins or an excess of natural substances produced by the body.

The Seattle project, announced July 24, is led by Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb, University of Washington professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology,  and director of the Kidney Research Institute.  The project team consists of physicians, bioengineers, pharmacists, environmental health researchers, and pharmaceutical developers from the UW schools of medicine, public health and pharmacy, and the College of Engineering. The amount  and years of of funding to the UW are yet to be announced, pending Notice of Grant Award. Overall, the national initiative is budgeted at $70 million.

Their project proposal is one of 17 nationwide funded in a recent round of awards from the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.  This grant program, a collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was created to improve methods for predicting whether newly developed drugs will be safe in humans.

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.

The NIH pointed to studies that show that more than 30 percent of promising medications have failed in human clinical trials because the drugs were found to be toxic, despite pre-clinical studies in animal models. Tissue chips may offer more accurate predictions of the side effects of potential therapeutic agents because they contain human cells.

Ten of the 17 new awards will support studies to design 3-dimensional cellular microsystems that represent different human organs. These bioengineered devices will produce relevant physiological functions and will reflect the complexity and diversity of living organs, including genetic differences, disease complexity and pharmacological responses.  The additional seven National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences awards will explore the potential of stem cells and progenitor cells to form the many cell types that make up the architecture of complex organs. These could be a source of cells to populate tissue chips.

Himmelfarb and his colleagues propose to create a tiny, 3-dimensional lab device containing engineered biological tissues that will perform certain actions of a living human kidney.  The system would evaluate the uptake, breakdown and elimination of potentially toxic substances, and predict the rate for these chemical reactions. The system might also help assess kidney injury from infections disease organisms and from toxins, both those introduced into the body and those produced by the body.

The micro-model of kidney physiology will also feature two parallel structures – small blood vessels and the surface lining of the renal tubules.  This aspect of the device will enable researchers to study the complex interactions between these two structures, which are normally in intimate association inside each of the functional units of the kidney, the nephrons.

In addition to Himmelfarb, the UW project team includes Jeremy Duffield from the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology; Ying Zheng from the Department of Bioengineering; Ken Thummel and Joanne Wang from the Department of Pharmaceutics; David Eaton, of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the UW Center for Ecogentics and Environmental Health, and Danny Shen from the Department of Pharmacy.

Nortis Inc., a bioengineering start-up company funded through  the UW’s Center for Commercialization, will also be a partner in the project. Thomas Neumann is president and CEO of Nortis.  Project plans include using the Life Sciences Discovery Fund-supported Washington Phenotype Biospecimen Resource to obtain kidney tissue specimens for the project.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

UW to Invest $37 Million in Nanofabrication Lab
The Washington Nanofabrication Facility is being developed to support start-ups and researchers who can not afford to invest high tech nano production equipment.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Microfluidics Device Could Help Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer in Minutes
This is the first time material larger than a single-celled organism has successfully moved in a microfluidic device.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Scientific News
Microdroplet Reactors Mimic Living Systems
Researchers use microdroplets to study non-equilibrium reactions like those in living organisms.
Toxicity Testing With Cultured Liver Cells
Microreactor replaces animal testing.
Study Validates Analysis of Copy Number Variation in Miniaturized Reaction Volumes
Data shows that accurate and reproducible CNV results can be produced with IntelliQube using the Array Tape® consumable.
Spotlight on Acoustic Liquid Handling
Journal of Laboratory Automation special issue highlights how acoustic liquid handling enables breakthrough innovations.
Organs on Chips
Combining 3D cell culture with microfluidics, organs-on-chips could revolutionize toxicology testing for pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.
Finding the Needle in a Microbial Haystack
After developing a novel investigational technology called PathoChip that can rapidly identify elusive microorganisms, a team of Penn Medicine researchers recently succeeded for the first time in identifying a pathogen in a patient sample, demonstrating the proof of principle that this technology can be used to identify pathogens in human disease.
Organ-on-a-Chip
In a step toward personalized drug testing, researchers coax human stem cells to form complex tissues.
Diagnosing Cancer from a Single Drop of Blood
What if a physician could effectively diagnose cancer from one drop of a patient’s blood?
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes And Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes and Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!