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Organ-Chips Part of MoMA’s Permanent Collection

February 14, 2015

By Matthew Corcoran Associate Director, Content
By Matthew Corcoran Associate Director, Content

Image:

The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Photo by valerio. CC.

Organ-Chips Part of MoMA’s Permanent Collection

February 14, 2015

Exhibit explores the democratic potential of design

The Museum of Modern Art in New York is home to the work of masters of the 20th century, like Piet Mondrian, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock. But you might be surprised to hear that our Organ-Chips also call the museum home.

Three of our Organ-Chips — Liver, Lung, and Intestine — appeared in an exhibit called “This is for Everyone: Design for the Common Good” and were acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.

“Human Organs-on-Chips demonstrate new, radical intersections of synthetic biology and design.”

Paola Antonelli said that the Organ-Chip “is the epitome of design innovation — elegantly beautiful form, arresting concept, and pioneering application.” Antonelli is Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design and the Director of Research and Development at MoMA. “Esoteric or specialized, perhaps, but universally remarkable in their balance of form, function, and vision … Human Organs-on-Chips demonstrate new, radical intersections of synthetic biology and design.”

The name of the exhibit (“This is for Everyone”) refers to a tweet sent by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. The line was meant as a reminder of the democratic potential the Web holds to foster communication and social interaction around the globe.

The exhibit explores the wide range in which design in the digital age is democratic, “from initial exploratory experiments, to complex, and often contested, hybrid digital-analog states, all the way to ‘universal’ designs.”

Image

The design of our Organ-Chip that is part of MoMA's permanent collection.

Democratizing Our Technology

At Emulate, we feel strongly about the potential our Organs-on-Chips technology has to change our understanding of human biology. “One of our long-term goals is to democratize our Human Emulation System for personalized medicine so that individuals can get a better understanding of their own biology,” said Geraldine Hamilton, President and Chief Scientific Officer. “We are also working to make our Human Emulation System easy to use so that it can be adopted in different kinds of labs throughout the world,” she added.