Research devises new biochip technology to support pharma research

Industry Insights

In pharmaceutical research practices, small tissue spheres are used as miniature models of organs for reproducible tests. Following a research initiative at TU Wien, a new method developed as a reliable standard for the tissue samples.

In fact, before clinical trials, drugs need to be tested either on animals, or on artificially produced tissue samples that are recently adopted. To undertake this, cells are grown, and tiny spheres with a diameter less than a millimeter made. However, the tissue samples lack uniform standards, and there is no reliable method to produce them with size and shape. Therefore, tissue samples developed in different laboratories are not much comparable, as the size of the tissue has directly influence on the behavior of cells and drugs.

To this end, the finding can solve the problem. A biochip is developed that can be used to fabricate tissue beads in the exact desired sizes, and supply them nutrients and even drugs via a thin channel. A patent application is filed for the new biochip technology.

“Meanwhile, in preclinical studies for pharmaceutical research practices, drugs are examined on small tissue samples for a thorough understanding, and to know the possibility of when they can be administered on test subjects,” stated one of the researchers.

Importantly, for these studies, maximum scientific accuracy can save a lot of money and a lot of time on the road to produce marketable drugs. In other research areas too, well-defined tissue samples are indispensable, for example, to study the development of tumor cells or to ensure the safety of food or cosmetic products.

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