Cedars-Sinai and Emulate, Inc. advance precision medicine with organs-on-chips and stem cells

Cedars-Sinai and Emulate, Inc. advance precision medicine with organs-on-chips and stem cells

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | February 20, 2018 3D Printing
LOS ANGELES & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scientists at Cedars-Sinai and Emulate, Inc. are pioneering a Patient-on-a-Chip program to help predict which disease treatments would be most effective based on a patient's genetic makeup and disease variant—a new approach to precision medicine for improving patient care and health.

The collaboration leverages innovative stem cell science from the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and Emulate’s Human Emulation System, which uses Organs-on-Chips technology to re-create true-to-life biology outside the body. This technology creates an environment where the cells exhibit an unprecedented level of biological function, and provides control of complex human biology and disease mechanisms not possible with existing techniques.

Initial scientific findings, recently published in Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a journal of the American Gastroenterology Association, mark a major milestone in the Patient-on-a-Chip program. Investigators from Cedars-Sinai and Emulate demonstrated how cells of a human intestinal lining created outside an individual’s body mirror living tissue when placed inside Emulate's Intestine-Chips, opening the door to personalized testing of drug treatments.

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The research points to a host of practical clinical applications that can benefit patients. By placing a patient's cells in Organ-Chips and exposing those cells to a particular drug or series of drugs, clinicians could gain more accurate information about how that individual would respond to treatment, avoiding the risk of administering a drug that may cause harm or is ineffective and costly.

"The medical potential of a Patient-on-a-Chip is extraordinary," said Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute. "As examples, scientists could use Organs-on-Chips to create a living model of a patient with Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Crohn's disease, a debilitating inflammatory bowel disorder linked to several gene mutations. By flowing drugs through Organ-Chips containing the patient’s own cells and tissue, we could predict which treatment is most beneficial for that patient."

Cedars-Sinai and Emulate each have contributed integral components to the Patient-on-a-Chip program.

Cedars-Sinai scientists can harvest cells from the blood or skin of an individual and reprogram them into induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be made into any organ cell (such as those from the lung, liver or intestine), each bearing the unique genetic fingerprint and characteristics of the person.

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