Organ-on-a-Chip Offers Treatment Insights for Aging Blood Vessels

The Physicians Committee

Organ-on-a-Chip Offers Treatment Insights for Aging Blood Vessels

March 8, 2017

Patient with progeria syndrome. Image Source.
Patient with progeria syndrome. Image Source.

Study in a Sentence: Using stem cells derived from healthy donors and patients with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (a rare disease characterized by premature aging of the blood vessels and heart attacks in childhood), researchers created a new miniature device to mimic the stretching and straining that occurs in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels during blood flow. They found that the models derived from the patients induced much higher levels of inflammation and DNA damage with strain, unlike those from healthy donors.

Healthy for Humans: The researchers were able to use the model to test a drug treatment that can limit the inflammation induced by the strain in the blood vessels.

Redefining Research: This organ-on-a-chip model serves as a human-relevant platform to study blood vessel diseases associated with aging, including high blood pressure and stroke, and identify novel therapeutic targets and drugs for treatment.

Ribas J, Zhang YS, Pitrez PR, et al. Biomechanical strain exacerbates inflammation on a progeria-on-a-chip model. Small. 2017. doi: 10.1002/smll.201603737.

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