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Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

The Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program aims to develop bioengineered devices to improve the process of predicting whether drugs will be safe or toxic in humans.

Tissue Chip Overview

Many promising medications have failed to be safe and effective in human clinical trials despite promising preclinical studies. We are addressing this problem through the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. We coordinate with other NIH institutes and centers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tissue chips are built from human cells. Also called organs-on-chips, they mimic the structure and function of our heart, kidneys, lungs and other organ systems. Scientists are developing and using tissue chips to test the potential effects of drugs on those tissues in a faster and more effective way than current methods. Learn more about these projects.

With flexible funding from the Cures Acceleration Network, we focus on developing high-need cures and reducing major barriers between research discovery and clinical trials. Our Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program aims to speed the translation of basic discoveries into the clinic. By creating an integrated human body-on-a-chip, researchers will be able to test the possible effects of a drug or other substance across the entire body before testing in people.

Because they use human cells, tissue chips are also useful research tools to study human diseases and conditions when animal models do not mirror the pathology or are unavailable. They support NIH’s position that non-animal model approaches can reduce the need for animals in research but will require further improvement to completely replace them.

Tissue Chip News

Scientists Discover Potential Treatment Approaches for Polycystic Kidney Disease

April 4, 2024 - NCATS News

  • Our Impact on Drug Discovery and Development
  • Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

NCATS-supported researchers used gene editing and 3-D cell models to uncover new insights into the genetics of polycystic kidney disease.

Freedman Lab Discovers Promising New Therapeutic for PKD in Tailor-Made Organoids

April 4, 2024 - Grantee/Partner News

  • Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

Phase Receives a $1.8m Boost for Its Blood-Brain-Barrier Model Development

March 5, 2024 - Grantee/Partner News

  • 3-D Tissue Bioprinting
  • Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

Why Tissue Chips Matter

Watch the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening video (video length: 3:49) to learn more about the program. 

Tissue Chip Funding

Find funding opportunities for the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. 

Related Research

Stem Cell Translation Laboratory

Our experts develop methods and standards to use stem cell technology (using cells derived from skin
or blood) to advance treatment approaches.

3-D Tissue Bioprinting

Our scientists are creating and using 3-D printing techniques to make tissue models that closely resemble the complex structure and organization of our cells.

Matrix Combination Screening

Our experts use matrix combination screening technology to quickly identify promising drug combinations with the most potential to help patients.

Last updated on April 22, 2024