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Organ-Chips at DARPA’s 60th Anniversary Symposium

September 3, 2018

By Jermaine Reid VP of Communications and Events
By Jermaine Reid VP of Communications and Events

Organ-Chips at DARPA’s 60th Anniversary Symposium

September 3, 2018

Creating breakthrough technology for national security

In 2012, DARPA began funding a program at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to develop Organs-on-Chips technology. The agency believed that this innovation held the potential to play a role in national security readiness by facilitating the rapid development of treatments for biological, chemical, and nuclear threats, either natural or man made.

Two years after the DARPA project began, we spun out of the Wyss Institute with the goal of democratizing Organs-on-Chips technology and putting it in the hands of researchers in labs throughout the world. Today, we are delighted to be participating in D60, a three-day symposium that is being held in honor of DARPA’s 60th anniversary and will feature innovations that reflect the wide range of projects the agency has supported over the past six decades.


DARPA provided funding to develop our system so that it could be used to create treatments for biological, chemical, and nuclear threats. One capability of our technology is that it allows researchers to model aspects of the human immune system. Here we see neutrophils (blue) engulfing bacteria (yellow) in the Lung-Chip.

Developing therapies for new biological, chemical, and nuclear hazards is difficult using current methods, as animal models don’t always accurately predict the way a human will respond to a drug. As DARPA describes it, the Organs-on-Chips technology “program is developing in vitro platform technology to rapidly assess medical countermeasures in a way that is relevant to human health.”

“The resulting platform should decrease the time for development and increase the number and quality of medical countermeasures to bio-threat agents that move through the FDA pipeline and into clinical care.”

More information about DARPA, the symposium, and about our related work with the FDA can be found below.

DARPA’s 60th Anniversary Symposium
Our work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration