Organ-on-Chip Monitors Heart Cells in Real Time

The Physicians Committee

Organ-on-Chip Monitors Heart Cells in Real Time

August 2, 2017


This photograph of the TEER-MEA chip shows the TEER electrodes in gold, the MEA collectors made of platinum in gray, and the two transparent parallel running microfluidic channels on top of the MEA electrodes.

Photo Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Study in a Sentence: Researchers recently advanced organ-on-chip technology to a new level by adding electrodes to continuously monitor the health, electric activities, and differentiation status of living heart cells in real time.

Healthy for Humans: This new technological feature named Transepithelial Electrical Resistance- Multi-Electrode Array (TEER-MEA), will allow researchers to understand in real time how tissue barriers of organs are damaged by insults such as infection, radiation, drug exposures, and malnutrition and healed by therapeutics. It also can be used to identify drugs that alter the beating frequency of electrically active cells, like heart and brain cells.

Redefining Research: These electrical organ-on-chips not only mimic normal blood flow and the mechanical microenvironment of organs, but also allow for automated data collection and systematic preclinical testing of safety and efficacy of drugs without the need for invasive recordings in humans and other animals or disassembly of the chip.

Maoz BM, Herland A, Henry OYF, et al. Organs-on-Chips with combined multi-electrode array and transepithelial electrical resistance measurement capabilities. Lab Chip. 2017;17:2294-2302. doi: 10.1039/c7lc00412e.

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