Lab Spotlight

Livermore Lab’s iCHIP: Heart-on-a-Chip

Dept. of Energy

Photo credit: Ryan Chen/LLNL

Through heart-on-a-chip—modeling a human heart on an engineered chip and measuring the effects of compound exposure on functions of heart tissue using microelectrodes—Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers aim to decrease the time needed for new drug trials and ensure that lifesaving drugs are safe and effective, while reducing need for human and animal testing.

Heart-on-a-chip is the first design capable of simultaneously mapping both the electrophysiology and contraction frequency of cells. The research was part of LLNL's iCHIP (in-vitro Chip-Based Human Investigational Platform) project, which replicated human systems on engineered platforms to test the effects of toxic chemical and biological compounds.

LLNL’s mission is to make the world a safer place. The lab leads the nation in stockpile science and delivers solutions for the nation's most challenging security problems. Its mission areas include biosecurity, defense, intelligence, science, counterterrorism, energy, nonproliferation and weapons. LLNL achieves its mission goals through program directorates in Computations/High Performance Computing, Lasers & Photon Science, Global Security, Physical & Life Sciences, Engineering, and Weapons Complex Integration.

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