- The apparatus is a new development in the “lab on a chip” category – a class of microfluidic devices that can perform complex laboratory functions in a tiny space. The first uses are likely to be in testing new cardiovascular drugs and blood thinners, where blood flow is critical to predicting performance.
- While previous devices have been able to recreate the pulse of a heartbeat outside the body, they required the use of a syringe pump operated by a lab technician, which made long-term tests difficult. The new device is much simpler to operate and can run unattended for long periods of time.
- Because the chips are used in the lab and not on humans, Kim says researchers can begin using them right away. He said the team has no immediate plans for commercialization, but they may begin sharing the design with researchers on a non-commercial basis in a matter of months.
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