Conferences - Seminars

  Tuesday 21 March 2017 11:00 SV1717

Organs on a Chip: the Future of Precision Medicine?

By Prof. Kevin E. Healy, University of California, Berkeley, CA (USA)


Drug discovery and development are hampered by high failure rates attributed to the reliance on non-human animal models employed during safety and efficacy testing that poorly recapitulate human disease states. With the discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), bioengineers can now develop in vitro disease specific tissue models to be used for high content drug screening and patient-specific medicine. Combining the genetic background of human cells with appropriate biophysical tissue architecture and “tissue-like” drug gradients can recapitulate a minimal human organoid sufficiently to allow accurate prediction of the toxicity of drugs. This presentation will discuss our progress in developing integrated in vitro models of human cardiac and liver tissue based on populations of normal and patient specific hiPSCs differentiated into cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, or supporting cells. The benefits of our approach include: 1) robust microengineering platforms that control microtissue organization and function; 2) precise delivery of molecules (e.g., drugs) in a computationally predictable manner; 3) ability to model human disease; and, 4) cost efficient and high content characterization of an integrated multi-organ drug response.

Kevin Healy received his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering in 1990. His research interests are biomaterials and tissue engineering. The design and synthesis of biomimetic materials that actively direct the behavior of mammalian cells to facilitate regeneration of tissue and organs, and the design and synthesis of materials that circumvent their passive behavior in complex mammalian cells is the focus of the work conducted at Berkeley.
He holds the Jan Fandrianto and Selfia Halim Distinguished Professorship in Engineering in the Departments of Bioengineering and Materials Science & Engineering at UC Berkeley.

Organization Prof. Matthias Lutolf

Contact Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Christina Mattsson)

Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free