Samples of the Wyss Institute’s human organs-on-chips were acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and are on display in MoMA?????s latest Architecture and Design Exhibition, “This Is For Everyone: Design For The Common Good”, until January 2016. The human organs-on-chips were recognized by Paola Antonelli, the museum’s senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, for their state-of-the-art design and rendering which allows them to emulate complex human organ structures and functions.
They are made of clear, silicone rubber and contain hollow channels lined by living cells and fed with flowing nutrient-rich fluids and liquid blood substitutes. The tissues mimic blood flow, air movements and physical distortion of organs by application of cyclic vacuum through adjacent microchannels.
Scientists, led by the Wyss Institute’s Founding Director Donald Ingber and former Wyss Technology Development Fellow Dan Dongeun Huh, first developed a living breathing lung-on-a-chip in 2010. This design was leveraged to create various organs-on-chips representing different organs.
Human organs-on-chips mimic human organs for: testing of drugs, cosmetics, chemicals and toxins; understanding infections and inherited diseases; and creating replicas of personalized organs or organs of genetically-related subpopulations to advance precision medicine.