Scientists have created a three-dimensional (3D) organ-on-a-chip. It can mimic the heart’s biomechanical properties.

Structurally, it represents about two millionths of a human heart.

It is path-breaking development as it may help in studying cardiac diseases, screening and development of drugs.

Unique aspects and use

The device faithfully reproduces the response of cardiac cells to different drugs that affect heart function in humans.

The heart cells in the fibre align themselves in alternating dark and light bands, called sarcomeres, which are characteristic of human muscle tissue.

The unique aspect of the new device is that it controls the mechanical force applied to cardiac cells.

This allows the researchers to reproduce the mechanical conditions of the living heart, which is continually stretching and contracting, in addition to its electrical and biochemical environment.