University of Twente will test Covid-19 influence on heart with organ chip

The University of Twente is going to expose heart tissue on an organ-on-chip to the new corona virus. The researchers want to find out more about the effect that the disease Covid-19 has on the heart.

Covid-19 can seriously damage the lungs, but the disease also affects the heart in some patients, writes the University of Twente. The UT’s Organ-on-Chip Center will now merge with the Leiden University Medical Center and the companies River Biomedics and NCardia exposing heart tissue on an organ-on-chip to the novel coronavirus. This technique can also be used to test Covid-19 medication.

According to the university, tests with organ-on-chips have a number of advantages. Because cells and blood from patients are used, a specific personalized image can be obtained, which can help with treatments. Test results are also available relatively quickly and researchers do not have to use laboratory animals.

Organ-on chips are usually based on stem cells and scientists can add substances via microchannels to investigate the effect on the cells. By using existing models, which the pharmaceutical industry already uses, and involving doctors within a few months, the researchers hope to be able to quickly convert the measurement results into relevant data and make the technology more widely available. They conduct their research under the project name Monaco: Modeling and attacking Covid-19 with Organs-on-Chips.