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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scientific Publications by FDA Staff

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Exp Biol Med 2017 Oct;242(16):1586-92

Programming microphysiological systems for children's health protection.

Knudsen TB, Klieforth B, Slikker W Jr


Microphysiological systems (MPS) and computer simulation models that recapitulate the underlying biology and toxicology of critical developmental transitions are emerging tools for developmental effects assessment of drugs/chemicals. Opportunities and challenges exist for their application to alternative, more public health relevant and efficient chemical toxicity testing methods. This is especially pertinent to children's health research and the evaluation of complex embryological and reproductive impacts of drug/chemical exposure. Scaling these technologies to higher throughput is a key challenge and drives the need for in silico models for quantitative prediction of developmental toxicity to inform safety assessments. One example is cellular agent-based models, constructed from extant embryology, that produce data useful to simulate critical developmental transitions and thereby predict phenotypic consequences of disruption in silico. Biologically inspired MPS models built from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived cells and synthetic matrices that recapitulate organ-specific physiologies and native tissue architectures are providing exciting new research opportunities to advance the assessment of developmental toxicity and offer the possibility of deriving a full 'human on a chip' system, or a 'Homunculus.' Impact statement This 'commentary' summarizes research needs and opportunities for engineered MPS models for developmental and reproductive toxicity testing. Emerging concepts can be taken forward to a virtual tissue modeling framework for assessing chemical (and non-chemical) stressors on human development. These models will advance children's health research, both basic and translational and new ways to evaluate complex embryological and reproductive impacts of drug and chemical exposures to inform safety assessments.

Category: Journal Article, Editorial
PubMed ID: #28658972 DOI: 10.1177/1535370217717697
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Toxicological Research
Entry Created: 2017-07-02 Entry Last Modified: 2017-11-12