People who spend eight or more hours a day staring at a computer screen may notice their eyes becoming tired or dry, and, if those conditions are severe enough, they may eventually develop dry eye disease (DED). DED is a common disease with shockingly few FDA-approved drug options, partially because of the difficulties of modeling the complex pathophysiology in human eyes. Enter the blinking eye-on-a-chip: an artificial human eye replica constructed in the laboratory of National Science Foundation-funded researchers. This eye-on-a-chip, complete with a blinking eyelid, is helping scientists and drug developers to improve their understanding and treatment of DED, among other potential uses. The research outlines the accuracy of the eye-on-a-chip as an organ stand-in and demonstrates its utility as a drug testing platform.
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