Cardiovascular diseases cause 45 % of all deaths in Europe and cost the EU economy EUR 210 billion a year. However, only four cardiovascular drugs have been approved in the last decade. Accelerated development of accurate and cost-efficient cardiovascular drugs is urgently needed.
The EU-funded EMAPS-Cardio project aims to develop a new platform for growth and maturation of cardiac microtissues for adult-like organotypic models. These realistic heart models can help to advance the understanding of several prevalent heart diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, while striving to be sufficiently accurate to detect drug potency in both healthy and diseased tissues. The increased sensitivity and accuracy of heart-on-chip devices is a needed leap in technology that will accelerate new drug development without the need for animal models.
The primary goal of the project is to achieve clinically relevant cardiac models for early-stage cardiovascular drug screening. This will be achieved through the following:
“The EMAPS-Cardio project will enable the most realistic cardiac models to date that will help advance the understanding of heart diseases. Our findings can significantly improve the development of cardiovascular treatment methods. Overall, we are hoping to make EMAPS a versatile platform that can be used to grow multiple tissues, e. g. heart, lung, skin, muscle, etc. Ultimately, the EMAPS-Cardio heart-on-a-chip technology has the potential to achieve a reduced prevalence of CVDs in Europe and beyond as a result of a better understanding of disease progression and risk factors.”Dr Christian BergaudResearch Director at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS) at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)