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A German enterprise, active in fields of air handling and refrigeration technologies, developed a cryopreservable tissue model for cytotoxicity examinations. The solution is a novel cryopreserved of-the-shelf system with tissue-typical complexity. It helps to overcome limited transport and storage possibilities and capacities of 3D tissue models in cell culture plates. Partners are sought to conclude license, manufacturing, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements.
A German independent and free research enterprise with legal status of a non-profit limited liability company developed a novel cryopreservable tissue model for cytotoxicity examinations that is the first cryopreserved of-the-shelf system with tissue-typical complexity in the world. The enterprise has long-standing experience in the fields of air handling and refrigeration technologies and their applications.
In principle, the technology is an innovative opportunity to overcome limited transport and storage possibilities and capacities of 3D tissue models in cell culture plates (multiwell/ SBS microtiter).
The technology consists of three main parts:
1. Tissue model.
The tissue model is based on two components, which are assembled within a 96 well microtiter plate. The first component is a tailor-made three-dimensional collagen matrix that serves as a stabilizing framework and support structure for tissue integration. The matrix can be produced by a two-stage, patented freeze-drying process called ‘model-based ice templating (MBIT)’. Porosity, pore size and pore shape can be exactly adjusted to mimic the natural cellular environment. The second component is a cell carrier gel, which contains suspended human primary cells in a tissue typical number. The gel can be homogenously applied to the matrix by a pipetting automat. Directly after sealing of the multiwell plate the assay is cryopreserved to allow unlimited transportation and storage. After cryopreservation the assay can be revitalized at 37°C in the microplate reader, to enable cells to tissue formation by intracellular contacts.
In this way, you get a vital 3D human mucosal model for up to 60 fluorescence spectrophotometric toxicity tests of solutions and extracts within 48 hours.
2. Tissue protection and development.
The sophisticated cell carrier gel of the tissue model already contains all required ingredients as well as for the cryoprotection of the cells during freezing and thawing as for the subsequent tissue formation:
A) Natural tissue components, which act as cell-friendly, non-toxic anti-freeze additives (cryoprotectants)
B) All required nutrients, growth factors and buffer substances for a tissue consolidation period of 48 hours and the subsequent toxicity assay at 37°C in normal atmosphere.
3. Cryopreservation and storage.
The cryopreservation of the assay plate can be operated in a standard controlled rate freezer with liquid nitrogen supply. A cell specific cryoprotocol and a special heat transfer unit for multiwell plates (multiRack) is required in order to apply a constant, cell-specific cooling rate of the tissue model during the whole freezing process. After freezing to – 80°C (or lower), the cryopreserved assay plates can be stored for several months (ULV lab freezer at – 80°C) up to years (below – 130°C in a cryogenic storage tank) and later on transported on dry ice to the user or customer.
The German SME offers its expertise in tissue engineering and cryopreservation for:
a) the possibility of drastically reduction of your production costs
b) enabling your tissue models with unlimited transportation and storekeeping capabilities.
They need external expertise to bring the cryopreserved assay to the stage of an approved product and to use the potential to roll up a very new market.
Now, partners are sought to manufacture the components of the assay (e. g. tissue model, hardware multiRACK). This could be realized in terms of a manufacturing agreement.
To further develop the offered solution for other tissue models or test assays the client is looking for partners to conclude research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements.
The German client is also interested in strong partners who are ready to act as licensee for the described technology. For that reason, the client is looking for cooperation partners from industry to conclude license agreements as well.
Innovative features are:
• Fully automatable manufacturing of cryopreserved 3D tissue in SBS format without cultivation effort
• Total replacement of toxic cryoprotectants by cell-friendly natural tissue components
• High resistance of the frozen assay against transport damages (cold chain interruptions etc.) or adverse storage conditions
• At least 12 month of shelf life in conventional ULT lab freezers
• Proven 100% cell survival after simple thawing in a water bath
• Ready to use after 48 hours of revitalisation time without sterility or operation requirements (no medium exchange e.g.)
• Simple, robust and fully automatable test routine directly on the assay plate
Key features may be easily applicable to any other assay type with gel-embedded cells or 3D tissue models, like functional & metabolic models, disease/ tumor models.
The manufacturing technique for cell-specific 3D collagen matrices as an optional component of cryopreservable 3D tissue models is yet under patent. Patent applications according the manufacturing of cryopreservable tissue models or the cryopreservation thereof (including the cryopreservation equipment) may be done according to demand.
The client is looking for biotech start-ups, pharmaceutical companies, life science companies or universities who are engaged or interested in the development of 3D tissue models or other products containing adherent or matrix-embedded living cells.
Further cooperation is conceivable with partners from cosmetic industry, test laboratories, tissue model producing companies, public and private research institutes, federal and regional scientific offices.
Beside of the suggested opportunities for partnerships, the client is very open for other types of cooperation.