Don Ingber, MD

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You talk to any pharmaceutical company, they're desperate right now, because the drug development model is in crises. Essentially, what you had cost millions of dollars, to take drugs and years to take drugs, to the development. They have to use annual models which they have ethical issues that they don't like using, and there often poor models and they are so poor that very few of the prediction hold up in units.

So the drugs go through 500 million dollars developments [XX] in clinical traps. And so, we think the future is one where rather than taking engineering trying to solve medical problems, that we going to leverage biological designed principles to develop new engineering innovations.

And thats what we call biologically inspired engineering. So the mission really is to continue on that path to uncover how nature builts and really the heart of [xx] is leveraging that to basically develop bio inspired materials and devices that would essentially transform health care.

And so, we have a whole program called organs and sheds where we are adapting techniques from the micro fabrication industry to make computer micro chips. To make very small micro systems that we could fill fluids through, that we line with human cells. And we actually, it's almost like a 3D micro-section or a histological section of an organ that reconstitutes four organ functionality.

So our first big principle was a we call the human breathing [XX] and we essentially have a smart channel that you can pour air or liquid through. And think of it sort of like a car tunnel to the airport. And first halfway across the middle of it, we have a very thin membrane with holes and on the top of it, we put human lung cells that line the air sacs, and flow air over it.

And on bottom of that same membrane, we put human capillary blood vessels and we flow medium and we actually flow human white blood cells through it. And then we have, it's made of a clear flexible material and so we have little side chambers that have sipec suctions[sp?] and the whole deforms.

So it breathes, it stretches and relax. It stretches just like your air sacs. So it is mimicking a small unit of [XX], but with simple device, we have been able to not only we communicate entire inflammatory response. So if we have bacteria on the air side, white blood cells stick to the capillary side might get through and engulf on the other side and you can watch this on your time, which is very important for the pharmaceutical industry because, they just don't screen drugs.

They have to understand mechanisms to get these approved and also to prioritize which is the drug we spend at, next 100 million to go all the way with. Or if they have problems to work out the problem and find out which drug to put in. That same device we have new work, where we're remodeling diseases.

We can model pulmonary edema which is, when you have fluid on the lung and we get same doses that drugs induce that has a side effect in humans. We get fluid shifting to the air space, we get blood clot formation which is exactly what you see in humans. But in humans, you don't see that until they die and you do a biopsy.

Here, we can see it in real time that we could screen for drugs to see what might prevent it. In fact, we work in a pharmaceutical companies and we have datas that we can test drugs and we can surely prevent them.