NCATS, through its Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program, along with other NIH Institutes and Centers, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, leads the development 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Researchers are developing a 3-D representation of the female reproductive tract and liver on a handheld, interconnected platform for drug testing.
NCATS releases the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening video and introduces Chip, an interactive way to explore the program and its ongoing work.
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.
The journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy publishes a supplement highlighting Tissue Chip projects.
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, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration launch the Tissue Chip program.