0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

In This Article

From animal testing to chip: artificial skin could hold the key
49

From animal testing to chip: artificial skin could hold the key

Scientists developed a tiny chip that mimics human skin to understand how medicines work when injected under the skin, replacing the need for animal testing, and making drug delivery research more accurate and humane

In a move that could reduce the dependence on animal testing and improve experimentation procedures, scientists from Harvard’s Samit Mitragotri Laboratory have developed a new “tissue-on-a-chip” dubbed SubCuTIS (Subcutaneous Co-Culture Tissue-on-a-Chip). This innovative chip serves as an invaluable tool for injection simulation, closely mimicking the complexities of human skin and providing a controlled environment for studying how medicines are absorbed when administered subcutaneously.

As the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves away from animal models due to their limitations in mimicking human responses, advancements like this chip help improve medical device performance by better predicting how our tissues will react to skin injections.

How it works

The “SubCuTIS” chip recreates the intricate structure and cell interactions found in the subcutaneous tissue under our skin. The three-dimensional microfluidic device enables precise measurement of drug transport rates in a controlled lab setting.

The chip is divided into three interconnected compartments: one holding the drug, another containing replicated fat tissue, and a third representing capillaries and lymphatic vessels. Instead of injecting directly into the tissue, the drug is gently introduced into the first channel, from where it then gradually permeates through the system, preserving the tissue-like environment and allowing close monitoring of its journey post-injection simulation.

According to Dr Vineeth Chandran Suja, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard, SubCuTIS “faithfully captures the intricate subcutaneous tissue structure, cell interactions, and extracellular matrix components, which are challenging to replicate solely through computer simulations.” The chip sustained cell viability for over 10 days, permitting observation of drug movement in a physiologically relevant setup.

The benefits of experimentation

While mathematical modelling provides theoretical insights, SubCuTIS offered an experimental platform that more accurately mirrors the human skin’s complexity. The approach could be adapted to many drug types by incorporating fluorescent tags, showcasing its versatility for pharmaceutical research.

Dr Kevin B Ita of Touro University, California, says SubCuTIS offers a straightforward experimental setting conducive to investigating biomolecules within a novel mathematical framework. “The value of this research lies in substituting labour-intensive and expensive experimental conditions with the use of SubCuTIS,” Dr Ita added.

Commonly delivered through subcutaneous injection, drugs like insulin and certain antibodies face obstacles that hinder their effectiveness and bioavailability. By replicating the subcutaneous network, including fat cells and connective tissue, SubCuTIS illuminates these “traffic jams” encountered by large drug molecules after skin injection.

Reducing reliance on animal testing

Aligned with the FDA’s initiative to advance miniature models, SubCuTIS and related organ-on-chip models mark significant strides in reducing reliance on animal testing, offering precise data collection. This progress may prompt regulatory shifts favouring organ-on-chip data over traditional models, aligning with the envisioned new FDA act.

Dr Narasimha Murthy, founder director at the Institute for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Research in Bengaluru, commented that, “SubCuTIS could be a great alternative to animal experiments, it would be interesting to see how this model can accommodate various formulation variables and biological products.” Further standardization of the model could find applications in evaluation of innovator and generic products for the regulatory approval.

The study authors highlight SubCuTIS’s immediate potential to evaluate various therapeutic compounds with minimal need for animal models. Along with related microfluidic organs-on-chips, the technology paves the way for more human-relevant drug research that could translate to better clinical outcomes.

Also read: Like putting on a bandage: microneedles show promise for future therapies

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summit Registration

NOTE: The summit will be held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bengaluru.

Wellness Registration Form

-
-
-
Total Amount INR 3000
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts
Article
Summer drinks, though hydrating, can have excess sugar. Nutritionists suggest a few alternatives to keep the body temperature and sugar levels down
Article
Packed with protein, this recipe will help in weight management by keeping you full for a long time
Article
Researchers have found that a quick snooze can improve the retention of information by strengthening memories, leading to better recollection over an extended period
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts

0

0

0

Web Stories 

0

0

0

0

0

0

Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail

Opt-in To Our
Daily Newsletter

We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest