Linda Griffith, CNBio, and LiverChip featured in this week’s edition of The Economist
Bioengineering: Towards a body-on-a-chip
“The chips do not contain complete organs, just the smallest colonies of cells necessary to replicate the function of one. CN Bio’s liver chip, which is based on work carried out in partnership with Linda Griffith and her colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses tiny “scaffolds” to hold cells from donated organs which, for various reasons, were deemed unsuitable for transplant. The cells can be kept frozen until required.
So far, researchers are still trying to get just a small handful of different organs to work on a chip. But DARPA, a research agency of America’s defense department, is keen on having ten organs on a body chip. The military interest comes from a desire to have treatments available for nuclear and biological incidents. It is nigh on impossible to experiment with such drugs on human guinea pigs. DARPA and America’s National Institutes of Health are funding $32m of research into a body-on-a-chip at MIT, in collaboration with other research groups, and $37m on a similar project at Harvard’s Wyss Institute.”