31 Mar '12, 8pm

Harvard researchers develop thumb sized "gut on a chip" with intestinal cells, peristaltic motion, even microbes:

Inside your body, about 25 feet of intestines are folded and curled. Yet for all that expansive biology, bioengineers at Havard say they've mimicked the essential functions of the human intestine on a chip about the size of your thumb. Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering announced yesterday that they've created a "gut-on-a-chip." The silicon polymer chip has microfluidic channels containing the cells that line the human intestine. The researchers say that this device offers a new way to study intestinal diseases and the drugs that treat them, while improving on both Petri dish- and animal-based tests. It's a neat example of intellectual crossover: The microfabrication techniques used in this research are derived from semiconductor manufacturing. Inside the gut-chip, there are two microfluidic channels (shown in the photo with blue ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/diagnostics...

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