Sony is known for its consumer electronics, certainly not for its association with life sciences. Regardless of that, the company has been supporting various projects related to life sciences as well as acquiring companies working in this field. Today Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation announced collaboration with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to support and enhance their organ-on-chip technology.
Organ-on-chip actually refers to flexible polymer substrates that have hollow micro-fluidic channels which are lined with living human cells. They function as lab friendly organs, allowing researchers to study the various behaviors of cell in real time. This technology opens up the possibility of cutting down costs of lab experiments as well as eliminating the need for animal testing.
Wyss Institute says that a number of organ-on-chip devices are already under development. These include kidney, liver, lung, heart, gut and bone marrow systems. Sony is not the only backer of this technology, DARPA, NIH and FDA are all backers. No doubt that Wyss Institute will benefit a lot from the resources, both human and financial, of Sony. Hopefully more and more companies will see how they can change our lives through technology that is not just limited to consumer electronics.