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Jan 17, 2022
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New biochip simplifies skin fabrication in the lab

Researchers at the Carlos III University of Madrid and the Polytechnic University of Madrid have developed a new biochip that simplifies the in vitro production of leather and other complex multi-layered tissues.

According to the authors of the work, most microfluidic devices that also help grow artificial skin are developed using ultraviolet lithography, an expensive and complex technology that requires highly specialized tools and highly trained personnel. The new technology (the biochip is made of special adhesive vinyl sheets), on the contrary, is cheap, accessible to any laboratory and universal, since its design is easily adjusted to the tasks.

The biochip consists of two channels separated by a porous membrane: blood flow is simulated in the lower channel, and skin is formed in the upper channel, which is fed by the culture medium flowing through the lower channel. In this case, all flows are controlled by high-precision syringe pumps, and the procedure is performed in a sterile environment in a cell culture room.

Experts note that this research work does not have clinical goals, it is more focused on the replacement of living tissues in various studies. Tests can now be carried out directly on the new microfluidic platform without using animals to test cosmetic products, for example.

In general, this technology can be used to develop new drugs and become a cheaper alternative to animal testing in toxicological studies and clinical trials. It should be taken into account that EU directives actually prohibit the production of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals and encourage the replacement of living tissues with artificial analogues in various studies.

“Although the biochip cannot be directly applied in human treatment, it will allow research on personalized skin models. It is supposed that doctors, using the patient’s cells, will create a model of his skin in a new microfluidic device. And they will be able to assess the response of a particular person to treatment or medicine, ”the researchers specify.


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