Growing realistic human tissue outside the body is now possible thanks to the recently developed “person-on-a-chip” according to researchers at University of Toronto.

The new technology, called AngioChip, could one day be used to repair or even replace damaged organs. In the meantime the researchers believe their development offers a new tool for discovering and testing new medicines.

Researchers built 3D scaffolds for cells to attach to and grow around. This environment allows the cells to grow faster, and better resemble, real living tissue than cells grown in a flat petri dish.

Original research paper published by Nature Materials on March 7, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Koen Hufkens, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Milica Radisic, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto