Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
ADME Tox
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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ 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

Self-Assembling Protein Shell for Drug Delivery
Made-to-order nano-cages open possibilities of shipping cargo into living cells or fashioning small chemical reactors.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
TAxI Shuttles Protein Cargo into Spinal Cord
A small peptide, TAxI, holds hope for administering treatments for motor neuron disorders via a muscle injection.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Progress Toward Creating Broad-Spectrum Antiviral
UW researchers working in collaboration with Kineta Inc. and the University of Texas at Galveston have shown that making a drug-like molecule to turn on innate immunity can induce genes to control infection in several -known viruses.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Compound Found to Trigger Innate Immunity Against Viruses
Success at inducing gene action to suppress Ebola, West Nile and other RNA viruses.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Tuberculosis Fighter and Promoter Reveals What’s behind its Split Identity
Tumor necrosis factor – normally an infection-fighting substance produced by the body – can actually heighten susceptibility to tuberculosis if its levels are too high.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Scientific News
Colon Cancer Blocked in Mice
Case Western Reserve University Researchers block common type of colon cancer tumour in mice, laying groundwork for human clinical trial.
Development in Preventing Macular Degeneration
Following macular degeneration insight, promising drugs to prevent vision loss have been identified.
Improving Tumour Therapy with Nanoparticles
UHN nanoparticle called PEARLs is a promising utilisation of photo-thermal therapy for cancer treatment.
New Antidepressant Treatment Discovered
Scientists have demonstrated how gene therapy could lead to new treatments for depression.
Cellular Origin of Skin Cancer Identified
Scientists have identified ‘cell of origin’ in the most common form of skin cancer, and followed the process that leads to tumour growth.
Enhancing Drug Safety with a Web-Based Data Tool
Online and open-access tool allows anyone to find, combine and analyse FDA drug information.
Genetic Missing Link Could Explain Mystery of Heritability
Mother’s diet during pregnancy can permanently affect offspring attributes through process that could be strongly influenced by genetic variation in an unexpected part of the genome.
Does the Transport of Next-Gen Vaccines Lie with E.coli?
Study shows harmless E.coli capsule could aid next-gen vaccine delivery and efficiency.
Breathing in a Cure
Researchers working on inhalable ibuprofen to treat cystic fibrosis.
Complex Mouse Behaviours Linked to the Genes that Influence Them
Two novel genes were associated with methamphetamine sensitivity and anxiety-like behavior.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!