Microchip lined with human cells

Human Organs-on-Chips, designed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute, has won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award for 2015.

The marriage of marry electronics to biology creates tiny automated bits of human organs that promise to revolutionise the pace of drug discovery, as we detailed in Cosmos in our profile of Ingber earlier this year.

The idea is the organs on chips will experience the same forces as they would inside the body, making them the perfect platform on which to develop new drugs, replacing animal testing which is frequently fallible.

“This winning design is a great example of how design is a collaborative practice embracing expertise and know how across disciplines,” said Gemma Curtin, Designs of the Year 2015 exhibition curator.

“Its selection as Design of the Year 2015 also signifies a desire to recognise and award design that can significantly impact society now and in the future.”

The Human Organs-on-Chips were nominated by Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and Director of R&D, who called the project “the epitome of design innovation – elegantly beautiful form, arresting concept and pioneering application”.

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