Científicos israelíes desarrollan un medicamento contra el cáncer mediante un chip de simulación humana

Aaron Cohen y Yaakov Nahmias
Aaron Cohen y Yaakov Nahmias

Los científicos israelíes de la Universidad Hebrea de Jerusalén desarrollaron un medicamente contra el cáncer. La particularidad es que no lo probaron en animales, sino que utilizaron un chip que simula el cuerpo humano.

El chip contiene tejido humano con sensores microscópicos para monitorear con precisión la respuesta del cuerpo humano (riñón, hígado y corazón) a tratamientos con medicamentos específicos.

La idea de la tecnología de órgano en chip tiene 30 años. De todas formas, se cree que el equipo israelí es el primero en crear con éxito un nuevo tratamiento utilizando las capacidades de un chip para eliminar por completo las pruebas con animales.

Ilustración del chip del simulador humano
Ilustración del chip del simulador humano

Uno de los científicos israelíes, Yaakov Nahmias, afirmó: «Creemos que esta es la primera vez que un medicamento da este paso sin pruebas en animales. La razón es que eliminamos esta necesidad mediante el uso de nuestra tecnología ‘humano en un chip'».

“Esta es la primera demostración de que podemos utilizar dicha tecnología para eludir los experimentos con animales. Esto podría conducir a un desarrollo de fármacos más rápido, seguro y eficaz. Llevar un medicamento al punto de los ensayos clínicos normalmente lleva de cuatro a seis años, cientos de animales y cuesta millones de dólares. Lo hicimos en ocho meses, sin un solo animal, y a una fracción del costo», agregó Nahmias, director de la investigación.

Además, ya que los chips tienen el potencial de imitar el cuerpo humano con mucha más precisión que los animales, la tecnología podría aumentar la precisión del desarrollo de fármacos.

Nahmias quiso resolver un problema: el cisplatino, un fármaco contra el cáncer de uso común, provoca una acumulación de grasa en los riñones humanos.

Cuando «alimentó» su chip con cisplatino junto con el medicamento para la diabetes empagliflozina, diseñado para limitar la absorción de azúcar en los riñones, quedó claro que el medicamento para la diabetes redujo la acumulación de grasa.

Miró para ver si había datos del mundo real que respaldaran su hallazgo y descubrió que los pacientes con cáncer que reciben cisplatino y que también toman empagliflozina para la diabetes son menos propensos a la acumulación de grasa en los riñones. Esto surgió como un patrón claro entre 247 pacientes.

 

Vía The Times of Israel

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