Organs-on-chips – an emerging technology
Dr Subhajit Basu, associate professor in information technology law at the School of Law was interviewed for an article published by LexisNexis.
Organs-on-chips (OoC) are micro-engineered systems with microfluidic channels lined with living human cells to simulate or replicate biological processes of the real organ in vitro.
During the interview, Dr Basu highlighted the key legal challenges associated with the use of OoC and provided examples of the most relevant current legal frameworks used to regulate their use and the ethical considerations involved.
Dr Basu also observed the ‘grey areas’ with regards to privacy and data protection and advised that: “There is need to clarify rules on privacy and data protection. For example, it is important to protect identity because of risks of profiling and racial discrimination, particularly since OoC can be personalised for individual inquiry.
OoC will require an assessment of these risks to determine the level of protection required. However, coding, anonymisation and pseudonymisation are options which must be balanced against the need for re-identification in cases of specific research, tracing of infectious diseases etc.”