NCATS, along with other NIH Institutes and Centers and the Food and Drug Administration, leads the development and integration of 3-D platforms engineered to support living human tissues and cells, called tissue chips or organs-on-chips. Read the latest news about the Tissue Chip program below.
NCATS-Supported Researchers Find Cell Source Matters for Tissue Chips
Researchers from the Tissue Chip Testing Center at Texas A&M University have evaluated a kidney-on-a-chip developed by researchers at the University of Washington and Nortis Bio. The kidney chip was able to perform the same functions as real kidneys, helping to bridge the gap between the development of this innovative technology and its actual use.
NCATS Announces NIH HEAL-Related Funding Opportunities
NCATS announced several new funding opportunities through the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative. Selected applicants through RFA-TR-19-003 will receive funding to create and test devices that can model the mechanisms or effects of pain-relevant signaling, addiction or opioid use disorders using human tissues in tissue- and organ-on-chip systems. NCATS intends to commit approximately $5 million in fiscal year 2019 to fund four to six awards.
Tissue Chip Researchers Create a Working Model of a Heart Chamber
Researchers supported by NCATS’ Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program have developed a 3-D working model of a human heart chamber.
NIH-Funded Tissue Chips Rocket to International Space Station
Led by NCATS through its Tissue Chips in Space initiative, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, developed the immune system chip to explore the relationship between aging and immune responses and to look for possible ways to slow the aging process.
Tissue Chips in Space: A Giant Leap Forward for Research
NCATS-supported researchers, in collaboration with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Lab) and the NASA, are testing tissue- and organ-on-chips devices to see how human cells inside these devices respond to stresses, drugs and genetic changes in space.
On Oct. 24, 2018, NCATS, NIBIB and ISS National Lab announced four new Tissue Chips in Space awards designed to study tissue- and organs-on-chips that mimic major organs and systems in the human body in the extreme environment of space at the ISS-NL. Scientists will use this information to assess biomarkers, bioavailability, efficacy and toxicity of therapeutic agents prior to clinical trials.
NCATS and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) issued three five-year awards for tissue chip systems that model type 2 diabetes. In addition, NCATS renewed funding for two Tissue Chip Testing Centers and a database center.
NIH-Supported Researchers Use Robots, Stem Cells to Produce Organ Models
Researchers at the University of Washington, supported by NCATS and the NIDDK, created an automated procedure for producing kidney organoids on a large scale and in a format that works with current screening tools used in drug discovery.
NCATS announced the availability of administrative supplements for Tissue Chip Consortium awardees to develop tissue chip models for pain, opioid addiction and overdose.
NIH-Supported Scientists Uncover Clues to Spinal Cord Development, Neurodegenerative Disease
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, supported by NCATS and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, used stem cells and tissue chips to mimic conditions in the early human spinal cord. The results could provide a better understanding of the development of some neurodegenerative diseases.
NCATS Supports Award-Winning Technology for Drug Development
NCATS supports an innovative platform technology to precisely deliver nutrients and hormones to cells for a pre-clinical therapeutics testing program. The adaptability of the technology to other translational science applications led to additional funding for its commercialization and supports NCATS’ goal of making drug development more efficient.
CASIS, NCATS, and the NIBIB Announce International Space Station Funding Opportunity Focused on Human Physiology Research
NIH issued a funding opportunity for tissue- and organ-on-chip research at the International Space Station National Laboratory to study human physiology and disease. Data from this research — which will feature “tissue chips” (or “organs-on-chips”) — will help scientists develop and advance novel technologies to improve human health.
NIH Awards $15 million to Support Development of 3-D Human Tissue Models
In September 2017, NCATS announced 13 awards to develop 3-D tissue chip research platforms that model disease and test drug efficacy prior to clinical trials. Through the Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing initiative, the Tissue Chip awardees will study a wide range of common and rare diseases. In the second phase of the awards, researchers will partner with pharmaceutical companies to further evaluate the usefulness of validated disease models — those that accurately mimic disease biology — in assessing the effectiveness of candidate drugs.
CASIS and NCATS Announce Five Projects Selected from International Space Station Funding Opportunity Focused on Human Physiology Research
NCATS issued five initial two-year awards in response to a funding opportunity to use tissue chip technology for translational research onboard the International Space Station ― National Laboratory (ISS-NL) for the benefit of human health on Earth. During the first phase of the Tissue Chips in Space initiative, researchers will develop and test tissue chips on the ISS-NL in a microgravity environment. In the second phase, they will further demonstrate the functional use of the tissue chip models for more defined experiments on the ISS-NL.
Female Menstrual Cycle in a Dish
NCATS-supported researchers create female menstrual cycle in a dish. Northwestern Medicine scientists describe their development of a miniature female reproductive tract in research published in Nature Communications. The tract fits in the palm of a hand and could eventually change the future of scientific discovery and treatment of diseases in women’s reproductive organs. This new 3-D technology — called EVATAR — is made with human tissue and will enable scientists to conduct much-needed testing of new drugs for safety and effectiveness on the female reproductive system.
NCATS to Fund Next Phase of Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Program
NCATS announced a Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing funding opportunity to support further development of tissue chip models of human disease that mimic the pathology in major human organs and tissues.
NCATS to Support Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Testing Centers
On Oct. 13, 2016, NCATS announced awards for three Tissue Chip Testing Centers that provide a way for tissue chips developed through the program to be independently tested and validated. These efforts will help to promote the adoption of this technology by the broader research community.
NCATS, CASIS Announce Funding Opportunity for Tissue Chip Research in Space
NCATS and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) are collaborating to use tissue chip technology for translational research at the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. In October, NCATS and CASIS announced a funding opportunity aimed at leveraging recent tissue engineering and microfabrication advances to create tissue- and organ-on-chip platforms that mimic human physiology under the extreme environment of space.
Modeling the Female Reproductive Tract in 3-D: The Birth of EVATAR™
Researchers are developing a 3-D representation of the female reproductive tract and liver on a handheld, interconnected platform for drug testing.
NIH Funds Next Phase of Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Program
NIH announces awards in the second phase of the Tissue Chip program to improve ways of predicting drug safety and effectiveness. The journal Experimental Biology and Medicine publishes a thematic issue highlighting the Tissue Chip program.
Tissue Chip Projects Highlighted in Major Journal
The journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy publishes a supplement highlighting Tissue Chip projects.
NIH Funds Development of Tissue Chips to Help Predict Drug Safety
NIH announces the first 17 Tissue Chip award recipients. The projects, aimed at creating 3-D chips with living cells and tissues that accurately model the structure and function of human organs, mark the first interagency collaboration launched by NCATS.
NIH, DARPA and FDA Collaborate to Develop Cutting-Edge Technologies to Predict Drug Safety
NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration launch the Tissue Chip program.