Organ Arrays For Drug Development-Funded by the ACA

The research, being conducted at UC Berkley, is being funded by the Cures Acceleration Network, which is one of dozens of state and federal agencies established by the health law.

Imagine if scientists could recreate you---or at least part of you---on a chip.

That might help doctors identify drugs that would help you heal faster, bypassing the sometimes painful trial-and-error process and hefty health care costs that accompany arriving at the right treatment.

Right now, at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers in bioengineer Kevin Healy's lab are working to make that happen. Funded under a provision of the health law, they're trying to grow human organ tissue, like heart and liver, on tiny chips.

These aren't your standard computer chips. These miniature networks, derived from adult skin cells coerced into becoming the type of tissue scientists want to study, grow on miniscule pipe-like plastic chambers glued atop a microscope slide.

The research is designed to find ways to get that tissue to live and mimic how real human organs function. If so, they could provide a cheap and quick way of weeding out treatments that are toxic or just don’t work---early on, in the lab, replacing at least some of the tedious years of testing on animals and humans. What's more, because drugs traditionally are developed with a one-size-fits-all approach, clinicians often don’t know how well medications will work on individual patients. According Anurag Mathur, one of the Berkeley researchers, it could lead to "a personalized medicine, patient-specific readout of any drug you want to test."

Read the complte report here:

Source: Kaiser Health News

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