London: American scientists are developing computer chips to mimic the human organs to be used for drug development and prevent the death of thousands of laboratory animals. The five-year long `Tissue Chip for Drug Testing` programme, worth 45 million pounds (USD 70 million), is being funded by three giant US agencies, the `Daily Mail` reported. Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University will focus on the multi-organ chip device. Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville are working on the micro-brain bioreactor, which like the organ chip will contain human cells. The brain is an especially difficult target for drug development because it puts up multiple natural barriers to potentially toxic molecules Each "organ" will be about the size of a computer memory stick. The clear plastic chips contain tiny hollow channels lined with living human cells. Researchers will also create a "microbrain bioreactor", seeded with human neurons, to mimic the biology of the human brain.
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