Organs-on-chips or organ-on-a-chip has the potential to dramatically reduce animal testing. If this comes to pass it will be a wonderful day for millions of animals and animal advocates.
“This is the idea of replacing animals for drug testing with little micro-engineered devices…” – Don Ingber
Human organs are recreated inside chips using human cells so that the organ’s function can be viewed and therefore the efficacy or not of drugs under test can be analysed at the cell level.
This should preclude the need for animal testing and therefore greatly reduce this essentially immoral form of drug testing which increasingly seems out of step in the modern world.
Testing on animals results in a high failure rate for new drugs because testing drugs on animals is not the same as testing drugs on humans. These devices overcome that weakness. Costs should fall too.
“…[the tests] are not predictive of the human situation…”
Also organs-on-chips drug testing appears to be cheaper than testing on animals and faster. I am incredibly optimistic at the moment about this development. It should be great news for animal advocates and even better news for the millions of animals who suffer in laboratories and lose their lives at the end of testing when they are discarded by scientists.
“In effect, these chips may one day not only reduce the need for animal testing but also provide superior data that is more relevant to the human body than current approaches – a real win-win!” – Garrett Dunlap is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University
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