Heart-on-a-chip have been taught to shrink. What is it and why is it important?

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2019-08-08 17:40:07

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Heart-on-a-chip have been taught to shrink. What is it and why is it important?

Agree, it would be strange if all of their developing pharmaceutical company and a group of scientists immediately tested on humans. In this case, the number of deaths would be simply prohibitive. Precisely in order to prevent this, scientists create a so-called . In fact it is reduced to miniature state bodies connected to electronic circuits. But usually it was just "accumulation" of cells. Now scientists are trying to make these bodies behaved the same as the real thing. And recently in the development of the heart-on-a-chip they literally forced him to fight.

What is a heart-on-a-chip

In its structure the heart-on-a-chip is a three-dimensional structure of the heart with all its physiological structure cells. In the new experiment, the scientists focused on simulation of the myocardium (heart muscle), for which and contractions of the heart and ejection of blood into the blood stream. Speaking in simple words, the contraction of the heart muscle consists of successive periods of contraction and relaxation. In the process of excitation for the contraction of the heart from the special channels out calcium ions (why this is important, we will explain below).

This is interesting:

Existed until today model contained only the cells of the myocardium are not able to decline. That is, calcium ions, we can say, "were not considered" in these models. And if you take into account the fact that the heart-on-a-chip is typically used for testing drugs, such "calculation" almost negates all the efforts of scientists in growing artificial organs.


a About and look organs-on-a-chip

In the new study, a group of scientists under the leadership Ruzbeh Ashara-of Sabby managed to get cultured myocardium to contract. In order to achieve this effect, the researchers for 6 weeks conducted regular courses of electrostimulation of tissue, resulting in a 7 week study of the electrical potential of cardiac cells increased significantly, which has led to the fact that even in response to the slightest exposure to electric current, heart-on-a-chip showed a similar rhythm of contractions, which are inherent to this heart that beats in the breast of each of us.

Why do it

Because scientists were able to simulate the work of the heart, then the work involved calcium ions, which we mentioned earlier. The fact that many drugs have the cardiotoxicity not least from the fact that negatively affect calcium ions in the myocardium. That way, you can more effectively test new medicines that can potentially save hundreds of lives.

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