Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a new technology called Lattice that can simulate any human disease and test new drugs without harming the body. Lattice can study interactions between up to eight different organ tissue cultures for extended periods of time, allowing scientists to replicate how real organs would respond. This is a major improvement from current systems that can only study two cell cultures at a time. The goal is to analyze how different factors, such as obesity or gender, might affect diseases or how diseases impact multiple organs. The microfluidic device has channels and pumps that control the flow of simulated blood between the wells containing organ tissue. Researchers can fill each well with different tissues, hormones, diseases, or medications depending on what they want to test. This technology can be used to study diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and understand how they affect different organs. Lattice could also be used as an intermediate step between animal testing and human clinical trials to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs. Additionally, Lattice can provide longer testing periods compared to other in vitro systems. It is designed to provide fresh media to the cultures and eliminate waste, allowing the tissues to survive longer. Lattice is the second-generation version of EVATAR, which was created to test new drugs on the female reproductive system. Lattice is cheaper and more user-friendly, making it accessible for broad use in research and pharmaceutical industries. The study detailing this new technology will be published in the journal Lab on a Chip.
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