Study of new microphysiological system that predicts unsafe drug-drug interaction just published

May 7, 2021

Dr. Matthew Hancock was part of a diverse team of scientists and engineers who authored "Integrated Isogenic Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Based Liver and Heart Microphysiological Systems Predict Unsafe Drug–Drug Interaction," published in the 7 May 2021 issue of Frontiers in Pharmacology. 

The development of new drugs often involves testing in animal models, though animal models often do not accurately mimic human physiology.  Pharmaceuticals often fail in clinical trials due to the damage they cause to the liver and heart, and drug-induced liver damage in particular may not be well predicted by animal models. 

This study tested a new in vitro biological system for assessing drug impacts and complications.  This system is a type of “microphysiological system” due to its small size and multifaceted mimicry of tissue and organ systems within the body.  The study shows not only that microphysiological systems may effectively predict drug efficacy and toxicity across multiple organs, but that they have potential as next-generation drug development tools. 

Read the article here.

COMSOL Multiphysics simulation results of oxygen transfer and cellular uptake within a microphysiological system comprising a cell chamber on top of a media channel separated by a thin porous membrane.
COMSOL Multiphysics simulation results of oxygen transfer and cellular uptake within a microphysiological system comprising a cell chamber on top of a media channel separated by a thin porous membrane. Small concentration gradients with physiologically relevant oxygen levels occur when cells in the cell chamber consume oxygen and oxygen diffuses from the ambient through the PDMS roof and walls (left). When oxygen does not diffuse through the PDMS, cells become hypoxic after 300 s (right).

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