August 20, 2017
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Large-scale clinical studies of new drugs, as a rule, are accompanied by a host of difficulties. And even after passing the laboratory tests and animal experiments, human trials do not guarantee 100% safety for the volunteers. To solve this problem called “organs on a chip” — devices that mimic the operation of human organs. One such device was recently presented by scientists from National laboratory of Lawrence. They created a “heart on a chip”.

The uniqueness of the invention lies in the fact that the experts were the first to grow artificial heart tissue capable of modeling the multiple functions of the heart: contractile function and excitability (that is, the ability to shrink under the influence of electric impulses). All previously created samples of artificial fabrics was able to perform only one function of the heart. A new development allows you to measure the intensity of contractions of the cardiac tissue and held in her electrical signals.

In order to grow tissue artificial heart, scientists took only 9 days. For the first 2 days the cardiomyocytes formed a two-dimensional fabric structure, which was already able to shrink. In further studies, scientists tested the heart the action of norepinephrine, which is used to treat heart failure and low blood pressure. It was registered increase of heart rate and acceleration electrical signals. Under the action of norepinephrine is the same reaction is observed in the cardiac muscle. In addition, during the experiments, the scientists were able with the help of special connections to keep the electrical impulses in the tissue at the termination of the reduction. Before on any similar platform, a similar effect was not achieved.

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