On a Friday morning a few years ago, a childhood friend of mine walked into his doctor’s office, saying his hip hurt. The pain was pretty severe, and had been getting worse for several days.
By Saturday morning, he was in intensive care, fighting for his life against an overwhelming case of sepsis. He survived, but at a cost: he’s now a quadruple amputee.
It’s people like him—and the other million-plus Americans who develop sepsis every year—that Donald Ingber, MD, PhD, and his team had in mind while developing the biospleen, a device that filters sepsis-causing pathogens from the blood. Announced to the world in September, the biospleen grew out of the organs-on-chips technology that Ingber’s team at the Wyss Institute for Biomedically Inspired Engineering launched commercially this past summer.