23 October 2018
Thrombosis-on-a-chip, vasculature-on-a-chip and engineered models of human cardiac fibrosis are just a few of the new technologies revolutionizing research into human cardiovascular disease—a condition responsible for 17 million deaths per annum globally. A new study entitled Cardiovascular Disease Models: A Game Changing Paradigm in Drug Discovery and Screening, published this week in the journal Biomaterials by bioengineering scientists from the University of Toronto, proposes a new paradigm for research into cardiovascular diseases. The new paradigm is rooted in a human-specific understanding of disease mechanisms, coupled with application of novel microphysiological and computational tools based on human biology to create more predictive laboratory models of the human disease.
Lead author, Dr. Houman Savoji, CIHR & FRQNT postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Milica Radisic’s Laboratory, explained that, “In vitro and in silico disease models are frequently used to complement or confirm data acquired from animal models. However it is apparent that the application of these two fast-growing and emerging platforms, given their reduced costs, more ethical and more accurate, human-relevant outcomes, are becoming promising substitutes for animal models. The development of multi-functional platforms that combine mechanistic knowledge about the pathophysiology and etiology of cardiovascular diseases with ever-expanding engineering technologies (i.e., micro/nanofabrication) and advances in stem cell biology, brings hope to the mandate of improving translation in drug discovery and concomitantly reducing the use of experimental animals in preclinical research.” [Read more…]