‘Human Body on a Microchip May Test Drugs’

We all know and notice that the way we live today is totally different than ‘in the old days’. Everything is going faster and is controlled by electronics. We are all aware of the latest technologies and it has become obvious that everyone has multiple of these gadgets and knows how to work with them.

A large part of this technological revolution is due to the microchip. I think most of the people who have a little bit of science background know the ’law of Moore’. It states that the amount of transistors in an integrated circuit (microchip) doubles every two years due to the technological progress. To the present day this law still stands and for us it is very clear. Everything becomes faster, smaller, thinner,…

Personally I was not or am not surprised anymore when Steve Jobs or Tim Cook said that the new Iphone would be faster, had a better design… Or when Microsoft tells they will launch a new and better tablet.

What really intrigues me is the use of IC-technology in the biochemistry, the pharmaceutical and the medical sector. That’s what I find really attractive about the latest technology end this part of the technological era. And I think big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, … should invest more money in that kind of research instead of fighting each other for patents about some new application of making their new smartphone or tablet a few mm thinner. In my free time a sometimes read about new things they try to introduce and a few days ago I found an interesting article on the internet newspaper.
The title is ‘Human Body on a Microchip May Test Drugs’. It is about simulating the working of the 10 most important human organs on a microchip. Every microchip will ‘be’ one organ and they will be connected to each other. The designers go very deep because the can even simulate the muscle contraction of the organs. The goal is to replace laboratory animals for testing of new drugs and other pharmaceutical products because the test on these animals are not always accurate and may have a good effect on them but not on the human body. It is also a better and faster testing method.

You can find the link here: http://www.technewsdaily.com/6042-human-body-microchip-test-drugs.html

Maybe this post sounds crazy to you because it is a strange way to like technology but maybe that’s my abnormality of being a chemical engineer. What do you guys think about this subject?

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5 thoughts on “‘Human Body on a Microchip May Test Drugs’

  1. gabuglio says:

    Today I was just reading the newspaper and is saw the article in the link below that follows a little bit on my post of yesterday and is also related to the post about ‘Die Energiewende’.

    http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/2656/Global-Warming/article/detail/1559752/2013/01/09/Apple-sleutelt-aan-nieuwe-generatie-windmolens.dhtml

  2. tijlcrauwels says:

    After reading the article I’m still a bit confused on what they’re actually doing. They’re trying to rebuild the human organs on microchips to make the drugtests more reliable. But I’m not entirely clear on what a biological microchip actually is.

    How I read it they are actually cells from the respective organs, which are than kept ‘alive’ on microchips, or something like that?

    I’ve also read something interesting in that area today, where they use DNA as a way to store files. (http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/buitenland/130124_shakespeare_dna)

  3. gabuglio says:

    No, they recreate the function of a few human organs and simulate their working on a micro-chip. Afterwards they interconnect all these micro-chips to simulate the working of the organs in the human body.

    PS: I think the link is outdated because I can’t find it anymore.

  4. I want to say something about the goal, replacing laboratory animals. Isn’t it very difficult to simulate a human body? A human body is very complex. And is the primary goal to simulate specific parts, like blood circulation, stomach and kidney and test a certain medicine. Or are there to many connection and can certain thing influence others? Do you have any opinion about animal testing? I think it is the best option to develop medicines at this moment. If it can save lives, I am okay with it.

  5. gabuglio says:

    Of course it is very difficult to simulate the human body but I think starting with the thought that something is impossible is not the right way. And if we see at which speed science and technology evolves I think that this is possible.
    The purpose is to simulate the combined work of the essential human organs so that any specific reaction to the medicines can be tested.
    My opinion about animal testing is that if it is necessary it has to be done but if there is a feasible possibility to replace those animals by technology this is the way we have to work.

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