Artificial micro-humans could spell the end of animal testing


- Last updated on GMT

Artificial micro-humans could spell the end of animal testing
Germany-based company TissUse has showcased its new artificial micro-human platform which enables the testing of drugs or chemicals on a set of miniaturized human organs emulating the biology of the human organism at the smallest possible biological scale.

Although animal testing in the cosmetics industry was outlawed last year, this could have further implications for the industry worldwide, along with other industries.

TissUse presented its new products and prototypes based on its proprietary technology platform last week at the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Prague and its new ‘human-on-a-chip’ platform has been tipped to substitute current alternative methods to animal testing.

The artificial human machines are the size of a microchip and simulate the response of humans to substances inhaled, absorbed in the gut or circulated through the bloodstream.

Early versions comprising an artificial lung, liver, kidney, heart and gut are already being used to test cosmetics, chemicals and drugs, researchers said.


The company’s two-organ-chip was originally launched in 2013 and has been successfully applied in more than 20 different academic and industrial research projects; one of the most successful to note was with cosmetics manufacturer Beiersdorf.

Any new chip design serving specific customer needs in organ arrangement can be prototyped and produced within two months due to a proprietary rapid prototyping procedure established at TissUse.

"If our system is approved by the regulators, then it will close down most of the animal-testing laboratories worldwide,"​ says Uwe Marx, a tissue engineer from Technische Universitat Berlin and founder of TissUse.

“Our latest research focus is based on the four-organ-chip prototype,”​ he continues. This means that four independent organs on a chip interact on a physiological level.

“The development of a ten-organ-chip is expected to be completed by 2017.”

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