22nd January 2019
Human-on-a-chip breakthrough could help consign animal tests to history books
Scientists advance non-animal technology for drug and chemical tests
A new human-on-a-chip study by scientists at the University of Central Florida will better predict how people react to chemical substances. Human-on-a-chip technology uses donated human tissue to mimic human organs, and has been key in the testing of chemical safety as well as vaccine production and drug development.
Thanks to recent progress in growing human heart cells, scientists can now more accurately predict the effects of drugs and chemicals on the human heart. This was a common reason that new drug trials failed. Often it is not the drugs themselves that are toxic to the heart, but how they are processed by the liver that causes a problem.
The new breakthrough has helped University of Central Florida scientists work out how both the heart and the liver will react to different chemical substances. This gives a much more accurate indication of how the human body will respond.
Dr Jarrod Bailey, Senior Research Scientist at Cruelty Free International, says: “These latest advancements in human-on-a-chip technology improve the prediction of heart toxicity in humans, which has been a major factor in the failure of new drugs. It gives even better results than before, is superior to animal tests, and more accurately reflects what will happen in people. This is an exciting example of how a modern-day innovation can produce a much more humane and human-relevant way of understanding human disease processes and the effects of new drugs and chemicals, without the need for animal suffering.”