Emulate Inc. announced today that its Organs-on-Chips technology has expanded functionality to model viral infection in a human-relevant system, opening new opportunities for studying infectious diseases and better predicting human responses to new medicines. The new applications are based on results published online today in PLOS One.1 The original research was led by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the academic origin of Emulate’s technology and founding team. Emulate holds an exclusive license for Organs-on-Chips technology from the Wyss Institute for translation into commercial products, including the company’s Human Emulation System.
The study in PLOS One uses the Intestine-Chip to demonstrate how a human pathogenic virus enters polarized cells in the intestine, replicates to drive the infectious disease process, and is released into the intestinal lumen. This is not possible using conventional human cell cultures. By demonstrating the release and function of a virus in a human-relevant system, Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips technology offers the potential to evaluate efficacy and safety of new medicines prior to human trials. The technology could also be applied in the future to study viruses ranging from seasonal flu, to diseases of global health concern like Ebola and Zika.