If the notion of “organs on chips” sounds decidedly unappetizing then the reader should rest assured that this is not some modern day culinary fad, but rather the “chips” in this instance are in fact cell culture chips used for the purpose of scientific research.
If all this sounds a little high-falutin for an article on small business then let us just remember that the supply of models of human organs and body parts can be a surprisingly basic and simple operation despite the highly complex science involved in their subsequent usage. A form of usage which, as this informed article from Harvard University explains, could make most live animal testing redundant in the not-too-distant future – please click here to see some basic representations of some of the more straightforward products presently on the market.
The Need for Close Scientific Understanding
Without doubt the construction of viable artificial organs requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of those organs both in their physical presentation and in their workings. Indeed one of the major concerns of this technology is that even the most minor imprecision in the manufacture of such a product has the potential to lead to skewed or inaccurate readings which could invalidate the whole process or, worse still, provide false information which is not subsequently picked up. This is a point much emphasized by William Haseltine, founder of Human Genome Sciences. In truth the technology involved is still in its infancy and these concerns are amongst the main reasons why that is so.
Start-Up Business Involved in Brain Chip Technology
The start-up company Emulate was formed to identify commercial outlets for organ on chip technology developed by the Wyss Institute. More recently the company revealed plans to send brain chips to the International Space Station for the study of stressors and how their inflammation affects brain function. The company’s simulated brain chip is equipped with neurons and vascular cells, intended to replicate brain physiology and also the blood-brain barrier.
At the simpler end of the market however models of human organs are sometimes used by medical students at hospitals and university simply as a means of learning about their appearance and function. In these instances the need for function and even scientific reproductive precision is less crucial, although it is still essential that there is a very close resemblance to the real thing. These scale models tend not to be anything like as costly as the organ on chips technology required for the faithful replication of organ function.
The Supply of Model Organs as a Business
As even the less crucial study models require a good level of accuracy in their manufacture only businesses with the capability to specialize would generally be able to effect such an operation. It would undoubtedly be more common for a new enterprise to content itself with the supply of models manufactured elsewhere, on a commission arrangement in which the supplier seeks out clients and is paid a set or percentage amount for each transaction completed.