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“Heart-on-a-Chip” may replace Drug Testing on Animals

Sep
06

Date: September 6th, 2016

Drug Testing Statistics

When a company decides to develop a new drug, they must be prepared to spend about five billion dollars to develop the medication. More than half of that money will be spent in the initial research and development of the medication. A large number of drugs are tested on animals before they are tested on humans because animal lives are not considered to be as valuable as human life.

With the development of an artificial human organ that would respond just like a living animal, or person, would respond, the drug companies could effectively test their medications without putting any lives at risk.
This type of testing would allow the drug companies to spend less money on their development of the drugs so medications could be priced lower for the consumer, and it would mean that no life was ever endangered during the testing phase. Drugs could be tested and approved a lot faster making the growth of the drug industry increase rapidly.
“Heart-on-a-chip”
The heart-on-a-chip is the closest thing to a human heart that science has ever developed. It contains pulsating muscle cells that respond to stimuli like the muscle cells of a human heart would respond.
The device uses cells that actually have human genes in them. The cells are aligned so they mimic the structure of a human heart. The researchers can see the way blood flow to the heart would be affected, and they can use it for electrophysiological analysis and for physiological analysis.
The reactions of the heart-on-a-chip will be more closely related to the reactions a living human will have then the reactions that might be found to occur in lab mice or other animal subjects. The animal subjects can give the researchers a good idea of what would occur in the human heart based on what occurred in their hearts, but humans and animals are different, so the reactions in an animal may be far different than what will happen in a human.
By using the heart-on-a-chip researchers can discover the toxic side effects a drug might have without ever endangering a human or animal life.

Heart-on-a-chip Testing

Researchers have used cardiac drugs that are already on the market to test the heart-on-a-chip for reactions. The device has responded accurately each time according to the data the researchers have on the drugs they administered.
Heart-on-a-chip has responded to each medication that it was provided like the data says that human hearts have responded when they have been given the drugs in questions.
These tests leave researchers to believe that they can use the heart-on-a-chip to predict how people will respond to medications more accurately than ever before.

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