Queen Mary University of London has opened up a new research center aiming to revolutionize medical research and drug development using microengineered Organs-on-Chips.
What are Organs-on-Chips?
These devices contain tiny hollow channels lined by human living cells that recreate the microenvironment experienced by cells within the human body. As miniaturized living systems with human cells, Organs-on-Chips can predict human response with greater precision and detail than today’s cell culture or animal-based testing, and can be used in a laboratory to test drugs and understand how the body works.
Market forecasts predict that the organ-on-a-chip market can expect a compound annual growth rate of 38-57 percent over the next five years, rapidly becoming a multi-billion dollar market. This new Queen Mary – Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre is at the forefront of this activity in the UK. Organs-on-Chips technology is a rapidly expanding field with major pharmaceutical companies now investing in using these systems for drug discovery and development.
Queen Mary—Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre
This new center will use Organs-on-Chips to recreate the human biology of different organs by incorporating the appropriate types of cells and tissues cultured under continuous fluid flow and mechanical forces, such as cyclic breathing and peristalsis, which create the microenvironment experience by cells in the body. The Centre is located in newly refurbished bioengineering labs within Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science and includes dedicated Centre staff and an extensive suite of Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips testing platforms. The Centre is also part of a new Centre for Predictive in vitro Models at Queen Mary University of London.
What are the Benefits of Organs-on-Chips?
They offer the potential to improve the testing of new drugs or therapies to predict their safety and efficacy in the human body. These living, microengineered systems also offer the potential to reduce the reliance on animal testing and enhance understanding of disease mechanisms in the development of new medicines.
What is the Queen Mary and Emulate, Inc. Partnership about?
Emulate, Inc. is a U.S.-based company that is on the leading-edge with a portfolio of Organs-on-Chips products and lab-ready systems for use by researchers worldwide. Hence, the Centre will offer access to Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips technology to enable researchers to develop organ models of their design for use in a wide variety of experiments and drug development programs. It will also provide opportunities for collaboration with Emulate and support for commercialization and translational impact. Emulate’s technology can be configured to recreate a wide range of different organ tissues and disease models. They recreate the body’s dynamic cellular microenvironment, including tissue-to-tissue interfaces, blood flow, immune cell interactions, and mechanical forces.
Who is Emulate?
Emulate, Inc. creates living products for understanding how diseases, medicines, chemicals, and foods affect human health. Their Human Emulation System sets a new standard for recreating true-to-life human biology and is being used to advance product innovation, design, and safety across a range of applications including drug development, agriculture, cosmetics, food, and chemical-based consumer products. Emulate continues to develop a wide range of chips and disease models through collaborations with industry partners and internal R&D programs. Emulate is also working with clinical partners to produce chips personalized with an individual patient’s stem cells, for applications in precision medicine and personalized health. Their founding team pioneered the Organs-on-Chips technology at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Emulate holds the worldwide exclusive license from Harvard University to a robust and broad intellectual property portfolio for the Organs-on-Chips technology and related systems.
Professor Martin Knight, Director of the new Queen Mary Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre
About Emulate, Inc.
Our reformer heritage informs our conviction that great ideas can and should come from anywhere. It’s an approach that has brought results across the globe, from the communities of east London to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
We continue to embrace diversity of thought and opinion in everything we do, in the belief that when views collide, disciplines interact, and perspectives intersect, truly original thought takes form.
Find out more on the Emulate website.