One of the greatest challenges for clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic has been understanding why some people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus experience cytokine storms, while others do not. Using their novel organ-on-a-chip platform, a U of T Engineering research team has identified a molecule with the potential to combat one of the most severe complications of COVID-19 infections.
Researchers in U of T Engineering’s Centre for Research and Applications in Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT), co-led by Professor Milica Radisic (BME, ChemE), are leveraging their expertise in organ-on-a-chip technology to study the problem.
“Human cell-based organ-on-a-chip systems have a unique advantage of enabling us to dissect complex processes by simplifying the system and strategically introducing various immune cell types to understand the cascade of events better,” says Radisic.
Radisic and her team are experts in growing functional cardiac tissue outside the human body. These lab-grown tissues allow researchers to model diseases and understand how genetic mutations in cardiac tissues can cause cardiac failures.