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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Organs on a Chip - New chip simulates body function

"Creating a Lung on a Chip to Test New Asthma Drugs".  While returning home from a visit with my 91 year old brother I came across an article in USA Today by Jonathan D. Rockoff. These are not silicon chips like the ones used digital computer circuitry but chips made from living tissue.
           
I am writing about these chips because this is such a fascinating concept for medical research and of course computers play a large part in the use of these chips. This design  shows that some engineers can think outside the box and be really original & creative.  I think this is some very important research - golly what will be next.
Wyss Institute




These microchips are made from human tissue and in this case "lung tissue" and "blood vessel cells" in a creative nano design. Nano particles of  pathogens or other foreign elements are introduced and the tissue may react  just like in a human body. This gives medical researchers a possible way to quickly test for the human reaction without using animals for this purpose. It may be possible to conduct 1000's of tests for new drugs and produce cures faster and cheaper.

Here is information from the Harvard Gazette about 'Lung on a chip'

Take a look at this video Lung on a chip by Wyss Institute.

You can do a Google search and find out a lot more about this new technology.  I just wanted to bring it  to your attention. I think we will see chips in the future that combine silicon digital circuitry and the living tissue in the same package.

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Visiting my brother in Missouri was a lot of fun. He is doing well for a almost 92 years old and even still driving his car - I am not sure this is a good idea but he likes to get his own groceries and go to church. While there we had some nice trips out in the country near the Ozark Mountains and visited lots of old water mills and historic sites. It reminded me of our Blue Ridge Mountains at  home here in Floyd Virginia.
"by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector / Historian