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SELECTBIO Conferences Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems Summit

Michael Shuler's Biography



Michael Shuler, Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering, Cornell University, President & CEO, Hesperos, Inc.

Michael L. Shuler is the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering in the Meing Department of Biomedical Engineering and in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University. Shuler has degrees in chemical engineering (BS, Notre Dame, 1969 and Ph.D., Minnesota, 1973) and has been at Cornell University since 1974. Shuler’s research includes development of “Body-on-a-Chip” for testing pharmaceuticals for toxicity and efficacy, creation of production systems for useful compounds, such as paclitaxel from plant cell cultures, and construction of whole cell models relating genome to physiology. Shuler is CEO and President of Hesperos, a company founded to implement the “Body-on-a-Chip” system. Shuler has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Science and is a fellow of numerous professional societies.

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Body on a Chip: Human Microscale Models for Drug Development

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 at 11:45

Add to Calendar ▼2020-03-25 11:45:002020-03-25 12:45:00Europe/LondonBody on a Chip: Human Microscale Models for Drug DevelopmentMulti-Cellular Engineered Living Systems Summit in Boston, USABoston, USASELECTBIOenquiries@selectbiosciences.com

The preclinical drug development process is inefficient at selecting drug candidates for human clinical trials, since only 11% of drug candidates selected for clinical trials exit with regulatory approval. Current technology is based on isolated human cells and animal surrogates.  We believe that a “human” multiorgan model based on physiologically based pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamic (PBPK-PD) models that house interconnected modules with tissue mimics of various organs.  The system captures key aspects of human physiology that would potentially reduce drug attrition in clinical trials and decrease the cost of development. Integrated, multi-organ microphysiological systems (MPS) based on human tissues (also known as “body-on-a-chip”) could be important tools to improve the selection of drug candidates exiting preclinical trials for those drug most likely to earn regulatory approval from clinical trials. Such microscale systems combine organized human tissues with the techniques of microfabrication.

I will describe such systems being constructed at Hesperos and at Cornell that are guided in their design by a PBPK model. They are “self-contained” in that they can operate independently and do not require external pumps as is the case with man other microphysiological systems. They are “low cost”, in part, because of the simplicity and reliability of operation. They maintain a ratio of fluid (blood surrogate) to cells that is more physiologic than in many other in vitro systems allowing the observation of the effects of not only drugs but their metabolites. While systems can be sampled to measure the concentrations of drugs, metabolites, or biomarkers, they also can be interrogated in situ for functional responses such as electrical activity, force generation, or integrity of barrier function. Operation up to 28 days has been achieved allowing observation of both acute and chronic responses with serum free media. We have worked with various combinations of internal organ modules (liver, fat, neuromuscular junction, skeletal muscle, cardiac, bone marrow, blood vessels and brain) and barrier tissues (eg skin, GI tract, blood brain barrier, lung, and kidney). We have achieved unidirectional flow in a pumpless system which is important for mimicking the response of  vascular tissues and constructed blood brain mimics with human in vitro like characteristics. The use of microelectrode arrays to monitor electrically active tissues (cardiac and neuronal) and micro cantilevers (muscle) have been demonstrated. While most systems use 5 or fewer organ modules, we have demonstrated that a 13 “organ” compartment device can be constructed demonstrating the potential to address a wide range of problems in pharmacology and toxicology in a low cost system. Most importantly these technical advances allow prediction of both a drug’s potential efficacy and toxicity (side-effects) in pre-clinical studies.


Add to Calendar ▼2020-03-25 00:00:002020-03-25 00:00:00Europe/LondonMulti-Cellular Engineered Living Systems SummitMulti-Cellular Engineered Living Systems Summit in Boston, USABoston, USASELECTBIOenquiries@selectbiosciences.com