from ancient greek φύσις (physis), meaning “nature, origin” and μίμησις (mimesis), meaning “imitation.”
In 2012, a cooperative agreement between MIT and DARPA worth up to $26.3 million was used to establish a new program at MIT, in collaboration with researchers at CNBio Innovations. The proposal was one of two award winners selected as part of the Microphysiological Systems (MPS) program at DARPA, and is led by MIT professor Linda Griffith.
The PhysioMimetics program combines tissue engineering, hardware engineering, and translational system pharmacology technologies to create a versatile microfluidic platform that can incorporate up to 10 individual engineered human microphysiological organ system modules in an interacting circuit. The modules are designed to mimic the functions of specific organ systems representing a broad spectrum of human tissues, including the circulatory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, immune, integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, respiratory and urinary systems. The goal of the program is to create a versatile platform capable of accurately predicting drug and vaccine efficacy, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics in preclinical testing. The team anticipates that the platform will be suitable for use in regulatory review, amenable to rapid translation to the biopharmaceutical research community, and adaptable for integration of future technologies (such as advances in stem cell technologies and personalized medicine).
Linda G. Griffith, PhD
Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, MIT