Building Benchtop Human Models
The current push to make microphysiological systems was inspired, in part, by a Department of Defense (DOD)-sponsored National Academy of Sciences panel on model systems for evaluating countermeasures against biological or chemical weapons in 2011, says Thomas Hartung, director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The National Academy of Sciences panel’s charge: how to test treatments for toxins or pathogens, without any human victims to study or enroll in clinical trials? Their consensus was that neither animals nor computer or cell-culture models could do the job. Something new was needed.
Full story at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website.