Chemical and Biological Engineering
Biochip May End Animal Testing
Biochip technology could eliminate animal testing in the chemicals and cosmetics industries, and drastically curtail its use in the development of new pharmaceuticals, according to new findings from a team of researchers at Rensselaer, the University of California at Berkeley, and Solidus Biosciences Inc.
The researchers have developed two biochips, the DataChip and the MetaChip, that combine to reveal the potential toxicity of chemicals and drug candidates on various organs in the human body, and whether those compounds will become toxic when metabolized in the body, all in one experiment without the use of live animals.
Traditional toxicity testing involves the use of animals to predict whether a chemical or drug candidate is toxic. However, with the large number of compounds being generated in the pharmaceutical industry, and new legislation stipulating that chemicals undergo toxicity analysis, there is a rapidly emerging need for high-throughput toxicity testing.