Campus & Community

Lung-on-a-Chip wins prize

2 min read

Award validates Wyss team’s approach to revolutionize drug treatment

Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber received the NC3Rs 3Rs Prize from the U.K.’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) for his innovative Lung-on-a-Chip — a microdevice lined by human cells that recapitulates complex functions of the living lung.

“We believe that our human breathing Lung-on-a-Chip, and other organ chips we have in development, represent a first wave of exciting new alternative approaches to animal testing that hopefully will change how drug development is carried out in the future,” Ingber said. “This award helps to validate this radical new approach on the global stage, and to strengthen our resolve to work with government agencies and pharmaceutical companies that have been supporting our work to pursue this alternative approach to animal testing.”

“The NC3Rs annual 3Rs Prize champions the 3Rs [replacing, refining, and reducing the number of animals used in research] globally, rewarding real scientific and technological advances,” said NC3Rs Chief Executive Vicky Robinson. Ingber and his team received a monetary award equivalent to about $30,000, which will be used to support continued research and collaboration around the on-chip technology.

“This disruptive technology may be the beginning of a revolution of the systems we use to model human disease and test drugs in the future, with great potential to reduce the need for animals,” said Robinson.

Ingber’s Lung-on-a-Chip research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is also supporting his work to integrate the Lung-on-a-Chip with more than nine other organ chips to create a “human body on-a-chip” that mimics whole body physiology.