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Mini human organs "growing" in chips! Organ chips: disruptive technology is being conquered

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Update time : 2024-07-11 09:26:02

Organ chips are a revolutionary biomedical technology that has emerged in recent years and are listed as one of the top ten emerging technologies by the World Economic Forum.

Artificial organ


Building a "house" that simulates the human body environment

The purpose of organ chips is to use chips to build and simulate the microenvironment of human tissue. In a certain research institute in China, two specifications of organ chips have been made, which are only the size of a USB flash drive and a hard drive, respectively. They are made of polymer materials and contain many "small channels" and "small rooms" inside, like a transparent miniature maze. In an organ chip of this size, dozens or even hundreds of mini-human organs can be built.

"This thin piece of palm-sized material can simulate human organs, replacing the hundreds of millions of animals "sacrificed" in experiments every year, and contribute to the development of human science in the fields of life sciences, pharmaceutical chemicals, aerospace, etc." Researchers said that organ chips are a highly complex organ microphysiological system constructed in vitro that can imitate the multiple functions of human tissues. Such a design can not only reduce the need for animal and human experiments but also effectively screen and evaluate potential new drugs and accelerate the process of drug development.

For example, after the ventricles, atria, sinoatrial nodes, conduction cells, and other myocardial cells and vascular endothelial cells induced by stem cells are injected into the organ chip, a mini "heart" that can beat spontaneously and has a similar rhythm to the human heartbeat is constructed. By injecting different drugs into this "heart," the effectiveness and toxicity of the drugs on the heart can be detected so that pharmacists can better adjust the drug ingredients and conduct drug screening to achieve the effect of improving drug efficacy.

Organ chips are not a single, isolated scientific research result but a cross-integration of cutting-edge technologies in multiple fields, such as stem cell science, biomaterial engineering, and nano-processing technology. The researchers explained that the organ chip contains a continuous perfusion chamber, has a multi-cell layer structure, tissue interface, physical and chemical microenvironment, and human vascular circulation, and can be regarded as a cell culture micro-engineering device that simulates and reconstructs the physiological functions of human organs.



Researchers demonstrate 'heart-on-a-chip'


PTFE is an ideal material for making artificial organs

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powder has a wide range of applications in the fields of medicine and bioengineering due to its unique physical and chemical properties, especially in artificial organs and medical devices. Here are some specific applications of PTFE powder in artificial organs:

Artificial blood vessels:
PTFE powder can be used to make artificial blood vessels, which have good biocompatibility, do not cause an immune response, and have appropriate flexibility and strength to adapt to the hemodynamic conditions in the human body.

Heart patches and heart valves:
In cardiac surgery, PTFE can be used to make heart patches to repair heart defects or damaged areas. In addition, PTFE is also used to make heart valves to replace damaged or dysfunctional valves.

Plastic surgery:
PTFE powder can be used to make prosthetic scaffold materials in nose plastic surgery to help reshape the nose.

Orthopedic applications:
PTFE can be combined with other biomaterials for plastic surgery, bone tissue replacement, fracture healing, and even for skin or organ transplantation, and periodontal tissue regeneration.

Surgical suture materials:
PTFE fibers or braided wires can be used as surgical sutures, especially for sutures that require long-term retention because they can reduce tissue reaction and rejection.

Drug release systems:
PTFE can be used as part of a drug carrier to control the release of drugs to specific sites, such as slowly releasing antibiotics in artificial organs or implants to prevent infection.

Biomembranes and filtration materials:
PTFE's porosity can be used to make biomembranes for separation and filtration, such as filters used in hemodialysis or other biological fluid processing processes.

Artificial trachea and esophagus:
PTFE can be molded into various shapes to make artificial trachea or esophagus replace natural organs that have lost their function due to disease or injury.

Skin substitutes:
PTFE can be combined with cell growth factors and other bioactive substances for wound healing and skin regeneration.


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