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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Aug 9, 2019

Heart-on-a-Chip Accurately Assesses Drug Effects in Humans

Study in a Sentence:

Using a heart-on-a-chip system researchers from TARA Biosystems, Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline have replicated drug responses found in humans, demonstrating that this technology can predict how human hearts will respond to a wide range of drugs, something that has been a major obstacle in other models.

Healthy for Humans:

Drugs go through rigorous preclinical safety trials before ever being tested in humans. Yet cardiac toxicity is responsible for almost half of new medicine recalls. Using human-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, researchers created a physiologically relevant human tissue model and used it to test drugs with known effectiveness and toxicity levels in the human heart.

Redefining Research:

This research demonstrates the efficiency of using this heart-on-a-chip system to accurately assess the effects of novel compounds on the human heart. The model allows researchers to better study new therapies and identify potentially cardiac-toxic compounds earlier on in the drug development process. The researchers also suggest that the human-based technology can be used to create different heart disease models, using induced pluripotent stem cells from patients. 


Feric NT, Pallotta I, Singh R, Bogdanowicz DR, Gustilo M, Chaudhary K, et al. Engineered cardiac tissues generated in the Biowire II: A platform for human-based drug discovery. Toxicological Sciences. 2019.

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