Archived Webinar

Microphysiological Systems: Innovative tools for drug development and disease modeling

Presenter: Lucie Low, PhD, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Please join us for the next ASCCT webinar: Microphysiological Systems: Innovative tools for drug development and disease modeling

Presenter:

Lucie Low, PhD 
Scientific Program Manager 
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

The drug development process is lengthy, expensive and has high attrition rates. To address these challenges, the NIH, in partnership with DARPA, FDA, and the pharmaceutical industry has invested in the NIH Microphysiological Systems ("tissue chips") program to develop alternative approaches that would enable early indications and potentially more reliable readouts of toxicity and efficacy. The goal of the program is to develop bio-engineered microdevices that represent functional units of major human organ systems. The opportunities for significant advancements in the prediction of human response to drug toxicities through the development of tissue chips requires a multi-disciplinary approach that relies on an understanding of human physiology and anatomy, stem cell biology, microfluidics, material sciences and bioengineering. Since 2012, several novel in vitro platforms have demonstrated human organotypic physiological functions and relevant responses to drug exposure, suggesting that in the future, safe and effective therapeutics can be identified sooner, and ineffective or toxic ones rejected earlier in the development process. These devices are also useful for modeling human diseases for studies of pathomechanism and efficacy of candidate drugs, and this application is the focus of a new NIH-sponsored five year program. It is anticipated that the availability of these systems to a broader research community will foster a multitude of new research applications including studies in precision medicine, environmental exposures, reproduction and development, infectious diseases, cancer, countermeasures for chemical warfare, immune responses and neuro-inflammation. This presentation will cover the background and progress made, as well as current efforts to further evolve the technology, including their use at the International Space Station for translational research and potential use for clinical trials-on-chips.