Cellular technologies for pharmaceuticals
Scientists have found ways to accelerate the development of new drugs
For the first time, researchers from York University have created a three-dimensional model of heart tissue that is capable of pulsating like a real heart (Matters of the heart: York U researchers create 3D beating heart). Scientists managed to connect together three types of tissues from different cells – contractile cells of the heart muscle, vascular cells and connective tissue cells. According to the researchers, led by Professor Muhammad Yousaf, previously, when connecting different tissues moved in different rhythms, and only now it turned out to connect different structures so that the interval of their movement coincided.
The discovery is useful, first of all, for testing new drugs. Testing can be started earlier, and if the drug is toxic or harmful, the new heart model will reveal it faster. In addition, with the help of a substance that York University employees used to glue different types of tissues, it will be possible to work in other laboratories, studying heart diseases and problems that arise during transplantation.
One of the participants of the scientific group explained that the creation of tissues that are capable of harmonious movement has long caused difficulties due to the high density of cells in the tissues of the heart and a large number of muscles. In order for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models of cardiac tissue to function fully, it is necessary that the density of cells is equally high, and they must be in contact with each other.
At Binghamton University, specialists were also engaged in the creation of an artificial organ for studying it in the laboratory. They developed a multilayer model of the kidney to conduct experiments on it and work out various situations encountered in medical practice (Researchers develop a device that emulates human kidney function and could replace animal, human testing). An artificial kidney can be used repeatedly, the fluid flows in it in the same way as in a real one, and also – for the first time for such models – a glomerular filtration system works. Courtney Sakolish, a graduate of the University, explained that this model is a unique opportunity to test the interaction of drugs with kidney cells and tissues. Perhaps such models will become an alternative to animal testing in preclinical studies in the future. An artificial kidney capable of recreating the process of glomerular filtration has an advantage over other models – the cells in it behave as similar as possible to the cells of the human body.
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