Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The National Institutes of Health has awarded $15 million for Tissue Chip for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing to develop 3D human tissue models.
The awards were granted to 13 institutions as two-year awards totaling $15 million per year to develop 3D microphysiological system platforms that model human disease. The awards are the first phase of a five-year program to allow scientists to better understand disease mechanisms and predict how patients will respond to specific treatment.
The 3D platforms, known as tissue chips, support living cells and human tissues to mimic the complex biological functions of organs and tissues to provide a new way to test potential drugs and their effectiveness.
"The goal is for these tissue chips to provide more accurate platforms to understand diseases, and to be more predictive of the human response to drugs than current research models, thereby improving the success rate of candidate drugs in human clinical trials," NCATS Director Dr. Christopher P. Austin said in a press release.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, or NCATS, launched its Tissue Chip program in 2012 to study microphysiological systems to study drug safety and toxicity faster.
The awards will be used to study common and rare diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, influenza A, kidney disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, and hemorrhagic telangiectasia.
Award recipients are Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, University of California Davis, University of California Irvine, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, University of Washington Seattle and Vanderbilt University.