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Mimicking the Complexity of the Human Body In Vitro

The preclinical phase of drug development is expensive, takes a long time, and is not particularly effective at identifying drugs for humans (e.g. 11% success). In 1989 Prof. Shuler of Cornell University proposed an in vitro system for predicting human response to drugs without animal experiments by using physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to guide the development of experimental systems that can mimic aspects of human response to drugs (see US Patent 5,612,188). These systems have been called "Body-on-a-Chip" systems or microphysiological systems. Dr. Esch will review her recent work with body-on-a-chip systems. She will discuss her publications in which she describes the development of a system with GI tract epithelium and liver. This system was capable of mimicking the first pass metabolism of acetaminophen and was used to determine the impact of nanoparticles on the human GI tract and liver. Dr. Esch has also utilized nanofabrication to construct 3D tissue scaffolds in order to create more realistic on-chip tissue responses. A recent goal for the development of body-on-a-chip devices has been to make them more widely accessible by making them easier to operate and less expensive to fabricate. To realize this goal, Dr. Esch has been working on several inventions that make the devices modular and integrate passive fluid control.

For further information please contact Veronika Szalai, 301-975-3792, veronika.szalai [at] (veronika[dot]szalai[at]nist[dot]gov)


Veronika Szalai, 301-975-3792, veronika.szalai [at] (veronika[dot]szalai[at]nist[dot]gov)

Seminar in Nanobiomedicine


Dr. Mandy Esch


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University

Created October 13, 2015, Updated October 2, 2018