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A new generation of culture plates for in vitro 2D cell-based assays, that provides a biomechanical physiological micro-environment.

A French startup has developed soft matrices for in vitro 2D cell culture that offer mechanical features as close as possible to those found in vivo in animal or human tissues. These innovative and patented technology allows the elaboration of either uniform or patterned rigidity culture plates, which provide a new and more physiological microenvironment for cell culture. Partnerships can be considered via commercial agreement with technical assistance or research cooperation agreement.

Partnership(s) sought
  • Commercial agreement with technical assistance Research cooperation agreement
Descripción completa

2D in vitro cell culture and cell-based assays are essential tools for both academic and industry-based research for a wide variety of applications, mostly because they are easy to implement, reproducible, and do not meet ethical concerns. But several recent studies revealed that biological results obtained from current cell culture assays are biased by the lack of mechanical relevance of the in vitro culture devices. Indeed, up to date, cell culture is performed in plastic dishes, whose rigidity is a million times stiffer than the in vivo cell environment. And in vivo, cells are organized in soft organs. And most importantly, it is now proved that the mechanical properties of the microenvironment impact almost every aspect of cell behavior.

To fill this gap and to offer a disruptive way to culture cells in 2D, a French startup based in Grenoble develops a new generation of cellular culture plates that offer soft and biomechanical substrates for in vitro cell culture. Using technologies derived from the microelectronic field, the startup elaborates soft, elastic and flat hydrogels of photo-polymerized polyacrylamide, which can exhibit either uniform or patterned rigidity properties. This patented technology allows to fabricate hydrogels with physiological rigidities (from 0,5 to 100 kPa) and, for the first time, with gradients of rigidity (from Pa/mm to kPa/µm). Consumers can thus test non-uniform mechanical properties based on customizable standard patterns (steps of rigidities, stripes that mimic fibers, geometrical shapes). The culture plates are delivered pre-coated and consumers can choose the chemical coating between 4 proteins of the extracellular matrix (fibronectin, vitronectin, laminine, collagen I) and amino acid chains poly-lysine or poly-ornithine.
As they combine a micron scale control of the plate mechanical properties with an independent control of the surface chemistry, these new culture plates assume the chemo-mechanical robustness of the culture environment.

The culture plates support long time cell cultures without degradation or modification of their mechanical and chemical properties. They have been developed in standard size and format, from BP35mm to 96 wells microplates. They are very easy to handle, similar to standard plastic culture plates. Consumers can perform cell-based assays (cell survival, proliferation, labeling) and any downstream analysis (PCR : polymerase chain reaction, WB : Western Blot, Flow Cytometry?) as in ordinary devices. They are compatible with microscopic imaging, time-lapse experiment and screening platforms robots.
With the use of patented and innovative technologies, these new culture plates aim to induce the emergence of physiologically relevant cell phenotypes and responses, and are thus dedicated to cancer research, stem cells differentiation, drug discovery, the market of cells and proteins, cosmetics and other applications.

The startup is looking for Commercial agreement with technical assistance with companies (public or private) specialized in one of the field of applications mentioned above. These companies must be interested in testing the soft culture plates for their own cell-based applications and in sharing their results. Indeed, for the coming year, one main objective of the startup is to perform is Proof Of Efficacy.
The startup is also looking for Research cooperation agreement, with companies that have facilites with industrial process, in order to assist the startup throught its industrialization step.

Socio buscado:

- Specific area of activity of the partner: The startup is looking for Commercial agreement with technical assistance with companies (public or private) specialized in one of the field of applications mentioned above. These companies must be interested in testing the soft culture plates for their own cell-based applications and in sharing their results. Indeed, for the coming year, one main objective of the startup is to perform is Proof Of Efficacy.
The startup is also looking for Research cooperation agreement, with companies that have facilites with industrial process, in order to assist the startup throught its industrialization step.

Advantages & innovations:

For the first time, these soft culture plates overcome major limitations of in vitro 2D cell culture:
- they enhance the mechanical physiological relevance of the in vitro tests by providing a soft extracellular substrate, using a patented and innovative technology,
- they can reproduce human-scaled, mechanical features of real cell environment,
- unlike silicon gels, hydrogels are unique to reproduce the elastic properties of tissue as met in vivo.
- they are ready to use as they are pre-coated (to ensure the robustness of the surface chemistry),
- they have conditions of use that are identical to plastic or glass microplates,
- they are available in standard formats and compatible with standard analysis tools,
- competitive costs: their prices are similar to pre-coated plastic dishes,
- and, in the context of the transfer toward clinical and industrial models, they could potentially reduce the number of animal testing.

Development Stage:

Available for demonstration - Presently, the startup is able to produce small series, hand-made (near to 500 cell culture plates of uniform rigidities per year). The commercial generation of rigidity-patterned substrates for cell culture is developing.

IPR:

Secret Know-how,Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Patents granted

Clasificado como: Ciencias de la vida

» Reference: TOFR20180720001

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609203].

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