Body on Chip Bioprinting Aid Doctors in Targeted Treatment

Body on Chip is a method of 3D printing models of tumors and organs, that might well help doctors more effectively treat diseases with targeted medical applications.

Doctor Anthony Atala sat down with the folks at to talk in gneral about Bioprinting, but specifically mentioned this Body on Chip technology.

Bioprinting Human Tissue

Anthony Atala, MD, is the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a practicing surgeon and a researcher in the area of regenerative medicine, his work focuses on growing human cells and tissues. We spoke with Dr Atala about the role of bioprinting in urology and nephrology, its current applications and future potential…..

….2. Describe how you’re using bioprinting in your current projects.

Through a multi-institutional, “Body on a Chip” effort funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, we bioprinted a miniaturized system of human organoid structures that mimic the function of the heart, liver, lung, and blood vessels.

The goal of the project was to model the human body’s response to harmful agents and to test potential therapies. Testing using “body on a chip” is expected to be superior to testing in animals because human cells are used, making the results more applicable to patients. The technology also is expected to be faster than animal testing and less expensive.

Through the expertise gained in this project, we are now pursuing related efforts, such as a project to bioprint mini tumors on a chip that can be used to determine how a patient’s tumor will respond to various potential therapies. We are also bioprinting testicular organoids that can potentially be used to evaluate the gonadotoxicity of environmental agents and pharmaceutical compounds. Testicular organoids may also serve as natural producers of testosterone for men who lack testicular function due to disease or injury.

Additionally, we are pursuing several different strategies to engineer replacement kidney tissue or restore kidney function. One effort involves bioprinting kidney-like structures. It is based on earlier research in which a hand-engineered “mini kidney” was implanted in a steer and produced urine. The research is still in its early stages.


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