11 Jul 2015

Organs on a chip

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 11 July 2015

Lungs, liver, heart, kidneys; the behaviour of all these organs is being accurately simulated outside the human body in the laboratory.

Lined with living human cells, so-called 'organs on a chip' can mimic the mechanical motions of human organs, prompting human cells to behave in the same way as they do in the body.

It's offering scientists a window into human biology that could be used to develop new drugs without the need for animal testing, and new personalised medical treatments.

Professor Donald Ingber is Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He and his team designed these "organs on a chip".