When studying diseases or testing potential drug therapies, researchers usually turn to cultured cells on Petri dishes or experiments with lab animals, but recently, researchers have been developing a different approach: small, organ-on-a-chip devices that mimic the functions of human organs, serving as potentially cheaper and more effective tools.
Now, researchers have built a new device that’s especially good for modeling atherosclerosis — the constriction of blood vessels that’s the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. In a paper appearing this week in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing, researchers illustrate how the new device can be used to study important inflammatory responses in cells that line the vessel in ways that could not be done in animal models. The research team also explains how this organ-on-a-chip could improve blood testing for patients. Continue reading “Organ-on-a-chip could improve blood testing for patients”