Experimental models that promise to replace animal tests that are currently required for drugs and chemicals are rapidly proliferating. This includes a number of novel solutions offered by biomedical engineers that are collectively known as microphysiological systems or tissue chips. These elegant models aim to recreate a tissue or a physiological function using human cells that are usually cultured in 3D structures and under media flow. However, while the advances in biomedical engineering and material science are truly encouraging, there has been a challenge of transferring these technologies from the developer labs to the end-users. One of the barriers to the technology transfer of tissue chips has been a concern that these devices are too difficult to operate as they require specialized equipment, knowledge and experience; hence, the confidence in how well tissue chips perform is yet to be established. To bridge the gap developments in tissue chips and their use for decision making in drug development and chemical safety evaluation, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has funded several Centers to test tissue chips in an independent third-party environment. This presentation will detail the experiences of one such center at Texas A&M University.
1. To become familiar with the diversity of current options for the Microphysiological Systems (also known as Tissue Chips)
2. To understand how these microphysiological systems may be tested with respect to reproducibility and technology transfer.