Scientists recently infected the first human liver-on-a-chip model with hepatitis B and unraveled biological and immune responses to the virus similar to that found in real human livers.
This 3-D human-based model reproduced the viral infection at infection doses similar to that found in humans. Because it is physiologically relevant to humans, (vs animals), it is likely to reduce the time and cost traditionally required for drug development for hepatitis B.
Ortega-Prieto AM, Skelton JK, Wai SN, et al. 3D microfluidic liver cultures as a physiological preclinical tool for hepatitis B virus infection. Nat Commun. 2018;9:682. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02969-8.