Researchers from across the University of Arizona, including Frederic Zenhausern, BME professor and director of the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, are using a three-year, $750,000 grant to study pulmonary diseases such as Valley Fever by growing lung cells on decellularized leaves.
The revolutionary approach takes the idea of “organs on a chip” one step further by using a structure that more closely mimics human biology. If successful, it will allow researchers to bypass testing their theories on animals.
“We are developing a tool that will better mimic the human system and improve the overall concept of personalized medicine,” Zenhausern said. “From an engineering perspective, we are cross-utilizing the different fields from plant biology, medicine and engineering.”