Cosmetic and personal care product development to benefit from tissue chips

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetic and personal care product development to benefit from tissue chips

Related tags: University

In universities around the US, researchers are testing and cataloging data on tissue chips that could soon be used for toxicity and product safety assays.

This month, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (a division of the US Department of Health & Human Services) awarded close to $6m in grants for research on tissue chips. The funding established Tissue Chip Testing Centers at Texas A&M University, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at the University of Pittsburgh.

Testing chips

At Texas A&M University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists will be testing tissue chips for the next two years. The chips in question were designed as part Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program, explains an item about the project on the NIH site.

The chips are three-dimensional devices where cells can survive (in a sort of tissue or organ structure, complete with blood flow) and respond to chemicals, finished product formulas, and such. “Tissue chips are bio-engineered devices that allow us to have cells that behave much closer to human organs,”​ Ivan Rusyn, a member of the research team at Texas A&M, tells Kristen Guilfoos of

“As a toxicologist, I'm very passionate about new developments in the field and being able to use them to better address human health hazards,”​ Rusyn adds.

Cataloging data

Building a useful database is the task of the team at the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute. Mark E. Schurdak leads that informatics team. They are at work, “creating a Microphysiological Systems (MPS) Testing Database Center,” ​according to the NIH site. “Data generated by the TCTCs on diverse organ systems will be stored in the MPS Database. The MPS Testing Database Center also will develop and implement tools to evaluate the performance of the tissue chips, including their reproducibility and ability to predict clinically relevant drug responses.”

After two years of testing, data collection, and evaluation—should everything go well—Rusyn anticipates the tissue on chip technology will be available commercially for use in corporate labs “within five years,” ​as Guilfoos reports.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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