AxoSim Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder, Dr. Michael J. Moore, presented Nerve-on-a-Chip pain model at the NIH Tissue Chips Consortium Meeting 

March 26, 2020

In 2017, over 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdose, and over 2 million Americans live with opioid addiction. Additionally, over 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and lack safe and effective alternatives to opioids to manage this pain. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Helping to End Addiction Long Term (HEAL) Initiative seeks to improve treatments for opioid use and addiction. 

In September 2019, AxoSim’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Michael Moore and his team at Tulane University received a $1.2 million grant as a part of the $945 million HEAL Initiative. Responding to the ongoing opioid epidemic, Dr. Moore’s team is working to develop the first preclinical pain model using human cells which helps evaluate pain-relieving and tolerance-inducing effects of drugs. This project initially grew from a supplemental grant awarded to AxoSim to expand on the existing Nerve-on-a-Chip® platform in order to conceptualize an assay which mimics synaptic transmission in the spinal cord. This pain model will eventually help experimental drugs to be screened more quickly and at a much lower cost. 

“It’s great that AxoSim’s peripheral neuropathy assay can be used as a foundation for our pain model in response to this public health crisis. It’s exciting to see the range of applications our Nerve-on-a-Chip® model has.”

Dr. Michael J. Moore

Dr. Moore’s team includes Jeffrey Tasker and James Zadina, both professors at Tulane, as well as Randolph Alston, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin and Swaminathan Rajaraman, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Central Florida. They were one of five new HEAL Initiative additions to the Tissue Chips Consortium this past year. 


AxoSim is a Neurodiscovery CRO. We help companies develop drugs faster and reduce costs with models that mimic the human nervous system in several species in an in vitro setting. Contact us at or schedule a free 15-minute call to learn more about our unique 3D nerve model–our Nerve-on-a-Chip® platform including our PN assays, or our Mini-Brain, which mimics key aspects of the human brain. You can also follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.