Aging-On-a-Chip

Outcome

A model of the human body that is detailed and accurate enough to replace some experimentation on animal models and even human beings with in-vitro experimentation and clinical trial simulation.

Why the Need?

Drug development and approval processes are expensive and take a long time, and many drug candidates fail to complete the process successfully. Part of the problem is that there are no good models to reliably test new drug candidates on in the lab, as animal models do not accurately reflect the complexity of the human body. Current labs-on-a-chip are not sophisticated and/or cheap enough to be widely used. Creating a detailed and accurate model of the human body could dramatically accelerate the development and approval of new drugs, including ones that induce longevity and age reversal.

Stipulations for a Successful Breakthrough Solution

    The model must be more accurate and detailed than existing ones The model must be cost-competitive enough to be used by any biomedical lab or biotech start up
  • The model should accelerate, and possibly even disrupt (by allowing everyone to experiment), the current drug R&D and approval process.

Promising Technologies for Solutions

Lab-on-a-chip technology is likely to play part in the construction of any physical model, in which actual drugs and molecules will be tested. The actual internal structure of the lab-on-a-chip, however, will need to simulate multiple tissues and organs, as well as ‘blood’ circulation throughout the tissues. Promising technologies for the fabrication of a lab-on-a-chip of this level of sophistication will probably entail nano-technological fabrication processes, 3D printing, tissue engineering and others.

Expected year for proof of concept: 2040
Expected year for mass-scaling: 2048

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I’ve heard divergent opinion on how far we are from adequately understanding the body’s most precise mechanics to achieve such a breakthrough. I don’t know what to think!

@conboymj, @Lodder545, @Assaf_Horowitz, what are your thoughts on this potential breakthrough?

Scientists are just beginning to make steps toward building μOrgan-on-a-chip platforms and μHuman-on-a-chip is a lot further away. μOrgans-on-a-chip platforms may become useful at the preclinical drug development stages. However, for later stages of drug development there is a need for more comprehensive systems like μHuman-on-a-chip that require mechanisms for communications between body systems that do not exist yet. μHuman-on-a-chip will like be disease-specific for a long time - in other words, a few select diseases will have a μHuman-on-a-chip simulator that is useful, but most will not.

Amazing topic!
The company I’m running are already creating “digital brains” from real brains architectures (humans and other mammals) and compile them into artificial machines. In the near future (I guess few years down the road), people would be able to test their brains in various scenarios and exams, incorporate their personal data with their digital brain to track changes in daily behavior (e.g., reaction time, task management, writing, reading, etc.,). We could also estimate the “brain age” according to these matrices, trying to support patients to maintain their brain wellness.

Besides the ability to routinely monitor your brain for early diagnosis and brain maintains, we potentially could simulate your nervous system reaction to different treatments (and perhaps potential side effects). I believe the latter will be further down the road.

Combining more of “digital” aspect (in silico medicine) and further developing this field would be My friend is developing body-on-a-chip in Kyoto.

@NikolaiKirienko, @Oakshade, @LongevityLeaders, you might have thoughts on this potential breakthrough as well.

Please let us know:

  • If you think this is audacious enough for an XPRIZE.
  • If anyone, other than XPRIZE, is likely to pursue this.

In other words: do we need an XPRIZE competition for this?

@dai_andrew, you may be able to help us answer that question as well.