New organ chip models radiation induced lung injury

A new organ-on-a-chip has shown that it can supersede animals in radiation experiments that are not only extremely painful but have failed to produce effective measures to counter radiation exposure.

In other cutting-edge news, a truly innovative laboratory for drug development will be run mostly by robots and AI, and – we’re happy to report – is doing it without any animal testing!

Ending animals in all phases of biomedical research has never been more important or more possible. This Giving Tuesday, we hope you will consider supporting CAARE to prove how superior, humane science can replace the outdated and callous use of animals.



Human Lung Chip models radiation-induced lung injury 


The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed an in-vitro model of the human lung that can accurately model radiation-induced lung injury (RILI). RILI can occur following excessive radiation exposure from nuclear accidents or in some patients receiving radiation therapy. 

Animal experiments do not accurately recapitulate key details of human lungs, are costly, and pose ethical concerns. Radiation exposure in animals leads to lung injury, including pulmonary edema, a painful condition that causes fluid to build up in the lungs making breathing painful and difficult. 

This new human-relevant model combines a Lung Alveolus chip previously developed by Wyss with lung capillary cells, thereby creating an alveolar-capillary interface. Scientists induced radiation damage in the model and found that the resulting changes mimicked actual human lungs. They then used the model to test two drugs to demonstrate that it can be effectively used to test potential radiation treatments.   

This model is just one of many that the Wyss Institute has utilized to study RILI, including bone marrow and intestine organ chips. Because radiation damage in one organ could impact the entire body, researchers hope to eventually link multiple organs together through a microfluidic device, ultimately testing the full impact of radiation on the human body. 


“Self-driving lab” to focus on next-gen human tissue models


The University of Toronto has initiated the Self-Driving Laboratory for Human Organ Mimicry as part of its $200 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.  

Robots and artificial intelligence will run up to 90% of the lab work with the aim of determining the safety and efficacy of new drugs. This automation will free up researchers to focus on higher-level analysis, speed up the discovery of new drugs, and replace countless animal experiments.  

Dr. Vuk Stambolic, who will co-lead the lab, states: “While animal testing is typically the go-to method to assess the safety of new molecules made for humans, this lab will replace trials involving animals with organoids and organs-on-chips. This will allow us to advance to human clinical trials much more quickly.” 




Consider CAARE on Giving Tuesday 

Since our beginning in 2014, CAARE has consistently demonstrated how animal experiments are cruel and inapplicable for medical progress, and how an abundance of exciting new technologies can replace inhumane and outdated animal research. We were one of the first organizations opposing animal research to really focus on this message, emphasizing how ending animal research is possible today, not some time in the future. Since then, it’s become a driving message in the antivivisection movement. 

In 2022 CAARE worked diligently to advance the FDA Modernization Act which became law, opening the door to drug approval without animal testing. But there’s so much more work to be done.  

Each year an estimated 110 million animals needlessly suffer and die in laboratories, despite the existence of superior, human-based research methods.  CAARE is working tirelessly to make science more compassionate and effective. Help advance our mission this GivingTuesday by making a donation towards ending inexcusable animal experiments.

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research & Experiments (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established to highlight and promote research without animals.

Your donation helps us carry out our mission to speak up for animals in laboratories, and to end animal suffering by disseminating information about the power and progress of research without animals.

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  • Barbara Stagno
    published this page in Newsletters 2023-11-28 10:27:28 -0500