Organ Chips

Organ Chips

Why in news :

  • Last year, the U.S. government passed the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act 2.0.
  • The move is expected to boost the research and development of ‘organ chips’.

What are organ chips?

  • These are small devices containing human cells that are used to mimic the environment in human organs, including blood flow and breathing movements, serving as synthetic environments in which to test new drugs.

  • An organ-on-a-chip (OOC) is a multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture, integrated circuit (chip) that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of an entire organ or an organ system.
  • It constitutes the subject matter of significant biomedical engineering research, more precisely in bio-MEMS.
  • The convergence of labs-on-chips (LOCs) and cell biology has permitted the study of human physiology in an organ-specific context.
  • By acting as a more sophisticated in vitro approximation of complex tissues than standard cell culture, they provide the potential as an alternative to animal models for drug development and toxin testing.
  • Organs that have been simulated by microfluidic devices include brain, lung, heart, kidney, liver, prostate, vessel (artery), skin, bone, cartilage and more.

Syllabus : Prelims + Mains; GS3 – Science and Technology