Drug Screening Using Engineered Tissues

There is a tremendous opportunity for drug screening using engineered tissues to create aging solutions.

Three articles follow.

You are encouraged to send comments directly to me at  JAdams at sign agingintervention dot org or call (949) 922-9786.

Artificial Human Tissues Could Replace Animals in Drug Tests

-        Advanced Tissue-Engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer (ATHENA), the system is essentially a living kit of functional, cellphone-sized organs.

-        Interconnected by artificial arteries and veins, ATHENA will consist of tissues that behave exactly like a human’s heart, lungs, kidney and liver.

-        Expected to bring about new methods for preliminary drug testing while possibly reducing the cost and time of pharmaceutical development.

-        ATHENA will consist of  tissues that behave exactly like a human’s heart, lungs, kidney and liver

-        Dynamic system to more realistically mimic the human physiological environment than static human cells in a dish, to understand chemical effects on human organs as never before.

-        It’s in process.  “The ultimate goal is to build a lung that breathes, a heart that pumps, a liver that metabolizes and a kidney that excretes -– all connected by a tubing infrastructure much akin to the way blood vessels connect our organs.”

-        Researchers hope to bring about new methods for preliminary drug testing while possibly reducing the cost and time of pharmaceutical development

-        ATHENA would also give scientists a more accurate view of how drugs and chemicals react with human tissues, alerting researchers to potential toxic concoctions.

-        Article discusses criticisms that it will ever be completed, ethical quandaries, and benefits of drug testing using disembodied organs.


Development of a drug screening platform based on engineered heart tissue.

-        Tissue engineering may provide advanced in vitro models for drug testing and, in combination with recent induced pluripotent stem cell technology, disease modeling, but available techniques are unsuitable for higher throughput.

-        Objective was to present a new miniaturized and automated method based on engineered heart tissue (EHT).

-        Methods, Results and Conclusions were presented.

-        CONCLUSIONS:  They developed a simple technique to construct large series of EHT and automatically evaluate contractile activity. The method shall be useful for drug screening and disease modeling.


Artificially engineered breast cancer tissue offers platform for drug testing

-        A team of Auburn University researchers is engineering artificial breast cancer tissue that will provide fellow cancer researchers with a 3-D model on which they can test cancer drugs.

-        The research in Lipke’s lab has historically focused on engineering cardiac tissue and developing cardiac regeneration techniques, but Pradhan found a link between that research and cancer-related angiogenesis, which is the growth of new blood vessels.

-        The researchers say modeling the cancer tissue in a 3-D format is important because it simulates how cancer grows in the human body.

-        Article discusses how researchers create the cancer tissue using a biomaterial called PEG-fibrinogen

-        The researchers are performing various tests to examine how the cells respond to the surrounding environment and to characterize the different properties of the cancer cells, such as specific genes or proteins that cause the cancer-like behavior.

-        Other cancer researchers at Auburn have expressed interest in testing the cancer drugs on this model

-        This could potentially reduce drug costs and the amount of time it takes cancer drugs to come to market in the future.

-        Bruce Smith, the initiative’s director said  “One of our goals is to be interdisciplinary, to bring people from different disciplines together and enhance cancer research that way … And hopefully when we do that, we get new and better ways of approaching cancer.”


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