Animal Testing Alternative Wins Major Design Award

Human-like microchips that replicate the function of human organs could replace animal testing.


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Human Organs-on-Chips, a new microdevice that replicates the functions of human organs, was crowned Design of the Year by London’s Design Museum last week. The USB-sized devices—developed by Harvard University’s Wyss Institute—are lined with human cells that mimic the physiological functions of organs. A viable replacement for animal testing, the chips can be used to test cosmetics, drugs, consumer products, environmental toxins, and more. Organs-on-Chips, which triumphed over Google’s self-driving car and ocean clean-up technology in the design competition, is expected to reduce and perhaps replace the usage of animals in pre-clinical and product tests.