February 04, 2021 Publication

Organ-on-Chip: Playing LEGO® With Mini-Organs to Reduce Animal Testing and Make Medicines Safer


This publication in the journal Frontiers for Young Minds is specifically designed to an audience of kids and teenagers.

“Figure reproduced from Rogal et al. Front. Young Minds 2020, 8, 544390 (CC BY 4.0)”

In an easy-to-understand language the Organ-on-Chip technology is introduced and the basic underlying concepts described. Examples and descriptive pictures of Organ-on-Chip modules are provided as well as an overview of applications.
The publication can be downloaded (free download) in pdf (https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2020.544390)

Have you ever pictured yourself as a LEGO®-mini-figure? That is pretty cool, right?! But now, instead of picturing yourself as an astronaut, superhero, or elf-figure, try to imagine your own body being miniature and built from LEGO®–one brick for each of your organs. Sound weird? Let us explain why a mini LEGO®-version of you could be extremely useful and could become reality in the future. Such technology might help end testing that uses laboratory animals and help your doctors understand your disease. We use people’s cells and small plastic housings to build mini-organs the size of small LEGO®-bricks, such as a beating heart or energy-storing fat tissue. Similar to playing LEGO®, we can also connect different organ-bricks and study how they talk and work with each other. In this article, we will tell you how this all works and why it is so much better than animal experiments.

About the authors and editors
The publication was composed by Members of the µOrgano Lab (University of Tübingen) Julia Rogal, Madalena Cipriano and Peter Loskill (Vice-Chair EUROoCS).

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