Mimicking life

1006457-weird-crash-test-dummy-medical-worker-in-medicine-with-scrubs-and-stethoscope-on-and-red-lipsSafe medication needs a lot of testing; on animals, and on healthy and sick persons. Scientists are working hard to find alternative ways of testing drugs. They develop methods to reduce the number of tests by improving the selection process of candidate drugs. Computational biologists for instance use computers to predict the effectiveness of drugs by simulating the molecular life in your body.

Another way of mimicking life is the “organ on a chip”. On a small piece of glass (or plastic) the biological processes of an organ are imitated by small channels filled with fluids. The founders of the start-up company Mimetas, for example, demonstrate in this video how they developed such a sophisticated device to test the effect of drugs in organs. 

What will be the next step? What for instance are the possibilities when we combine these innovations in life sciences technology with robotics? Would it be possible to create a pharmaceutical test dummy?

A blog by Karin van Haren