In biochips, miniature tissues of different sizes can be produced simultaneously in a precisely controlled manner. The chemical environment of the mini-tissues in different chambers can be controlled using a sophisticated system of fine micro-channels: They can be supplied with nutrients or specific concentrations of test substances. This makes the cell experiments reproducible and more meaningful.
"This technology can not only replace animal experiments, it can even provide significantly better data than animal experiments," explains Peter Ertl. With the help of stem cells, one could carry out personalized tests and try out in the chip how the cells of a very specific person react to different drugs. Work is currently being done on combining tissue from different organs in one and the same chip - this also allows interactions between them to be precisely examined.