A groundbreaking study has just redefined treatment for cancer. The University of South Australia and Harvard have attempted to diminish the side effect of radiotherapy using organ on chip technology to develop 3D models to ascertain and discern the affects of different types of radiation.
The traditional method has been testing radiotherapy in a two-dimensional environment. With the introduction of this microfluidic cell culture chip will take a three-dimensional demonstration the impact of radiotherapy on the body. The chip is a reproduction of a human blood vessel in a disposal device.
A microfluidic cell culture chip closely mimics the structure and function of small blood vessels within a disposable device the size of a glass slide, allowing researchers and clinicians to investigate the impact of radiotherapy on the body’s tissues.
This method may prove to be revolutionary in more than one way. Since the interplay of radiotherapy and its far-reaching effects on human blood vessel can be holistically understood, animal testing and invitro examination will reduce considerably. Such testing has been fraught with limitations.
“An important finding of the study is that endothelial cells grown in the standard 2D culture are significantly more radiosensitive than cells in the 3D vascular network. This is significant because we need to balance the effect of radiation on tumor tissues while preserving healthy ones,” says Professor Benjamin Thierry, the scientist leading the innovative technology.
Radiotherapy side effects often take toll on cancer patients, making the recovery more painful than the disease. This novel concept will open new doors in cancer treatment, where scientists and doctors will be able to witness the interaction of radiotherapy on human blood vessels and come up with effective therapies with lesser side effects.