London’s Design Museum has chosen a strange but promising technology as the Design of the Year for 2015. Having even outdone Google’s self-driving car, the Human Organs-on-Chips was given top marks in innovation. Developed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute, these microchips covered in human cells are designed to imitate the complexity of human organ tissue.
The tiny structures could have many different applications. Firstly, the designers hope to be able to replace drug and cosmetic testing on animals with the technology. They have identified how to eradicate this historically cruel process with their innovation. The microchips will also allow for advancements in medical communities by treating different infections and inherited diseases.
The Organs-on-Chips project truly swept the contest, impressing all evaluators. Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic said, “They identified a serious problem; how do we predict how human cells will behave, and they solved it with elegance and economy of means, putting technology from apparently unrelated fields to work in new ways. They have perhaps unintentionally created something that for a lay man seems to symbolise the essence of life and also happens to be beautiful to look at.”
The other 76 nominated projects, including a proposal for ridding the oceans of plastic waste, will be on display at the Design Museum until August of this year.
Images via Emulatebio