July 24, 2012 –
Bioengineering professors Kevin Healy and Luke Lee and collaborators have been awarded a two-year, $1.7 million boost to develop on-chip models of living human heart and liver tissue from the NIH. The grant is part of the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program, an initiative to help predict the safety of drugs more quickly and cost-effectively, and thereby speed the development of effective therapeutics.
The project is titled “Disease-specific integrated microphysiological human tissue models,” and aims to advance understanding, studying and developing new strategies for treating cardiovascular disease, including long QT syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. The researchers seek to establish integrated in vitro models of human cardiac and liver tissue based on microphysiological models of human myocardium and liver with populations of normal and patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells differentiated into cardiomyocytes or hepatocytes.
Researchers will focus on forming cardiac and liver tissues within a microfluidic platform that can be widely used by the research community.