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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Apr 17, 2020

Human Lung Airway Chips Used To Study SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Therapeutics

Study in a Sentence: Researchers at the Wyss Institute showed that human airway organ chips can be used to model SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune response and to test the effectiveness of drugs to inhibit infection. 

Healthy for Humans: The global COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 necessitates rapid advances in research on the mechanisms of infection and testing of drugs that can act as antiviral therapeutics. 

Redefining Research: Researchers used microfluidic devices lined with human lung airway epithelium cells between blood and air channels to study SARS-CoV-2 viral entry, replication, immune response, and the effects of repurposed drugs. These airway chips expressed two key proteins necessary for SARS-CoV-2 entry, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, and demonstrated the ability of two clinically approved drugs, amodiaquine and toremifene, to significantly inhibit viral entry.


Si L, Bai H, Rodas M, et al. Human organs-on-chips as tools for repurposing approved drugs as potential influenza and COVID19 therapeutics in viral pandemics. bioRxiv. April 2020:2020.04.13.039917. doi:10.1101/2020.04.13.039917

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