Lung-on-a-chip research could give us new ways to fight disease


Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have managed to recreate a pulmonary edema (a build-up of fluid in the lungs) inside a lung-on-a-chip. The team used techniques similar to those developed for microchip manufacturing to build the mechanical structure of a lung before lining it with human tissues. Air is passed through one side of the lung, while a liquid solution containing white blood cells mimics blood on the other side.

With a lung-on-a-chip, scientists are able to conduct research that would otherwise be dangerous, expensive, or ethically questionable. In earlier studies, the team showed that the white blood cells would attack any bacteria introduced into the lung (as demonstrated in the video below). The latest achievement…

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