New way of developing tissue mimics brain function, has potential to eventually replace animal testing

UW scientists develop brain-like structure to improve drug safety testing.

University of Wisconsin scientists have created a structure that mimics brain function and may be used to determine the safety of pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals.

Using a hydrogel, a gel-like substance that readily absorbs water and stem cells, UW and Morgridge Institute for Research scientists have been able to successfully create cellular structures that mimic how brain tissue functions, Michael Schwartz, an assistant scientist in biomedical engineering at UW, said.

The program is called the “Tissue Chip” program, and in addition to UW, there are 10 other universities working on the project. The goal is to create various types of human tissues in order to create better methods of screening pharmaceutical drugs, William Murphy, co-director of the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, said. Read Full Article Here.