The Wyss Institute’s human breathing lung-on-a-chip, made using human lung and blood vessel cells, acts much like a lung in a human body. A vacuum re-creates the way the lungs physically expand and contract during breathing. In the current study, when researchers applied the cancer drug IL-2, fluid from the bottom of the chip entered the air channel on the top, and the blood clotted — mimicking what happens when humans get pulmonary edema. Further, when they turned on the vacuum to simulate breathing, the fluid leakage was much worse — adding new insight to what scientists understand about this life-threatening condition.
credit: Wyss Institute