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The company has more than 10 years of experience in designing, manufacturing and applying microphysiometric systems in the field of biotechnology. By combining expertise in electronic and mechanical engineering, sensor development and microfluidics, the technology enables automated, label-free and real-time measurements of cellular metabolism and morphology. This is accomplished via microsensors for pH, dissolved oxygen and impedance. Based on the acquired data of the microsensors, the extracellular acidification, oxygen consumption and impedance of cellular models is measured to identify changes due external stimuli. For example, the addition of pharmaceutical or toxicologic compounds to the cellular model(s) causes minute changes in the metabolism and morphology, which are measured with the microsensors. Solutions are e.g., available for skin, liver, kidney, blood-brain-barrier, intestine and heart-on-a-chip applications.
The SME showed the usability of its technology in cooperation with different research organisations in fields as environmental monitoring, individualized chemotherapy, drug development, toxicity assessment without the use of animal experiments and basic research; relevant scientific publications are available. A quality management system for the manufacturing and service facilities was established and the technology is CE marked (a symbol applied to products to indicate that they conform with relevant EU directives regarding health and safety or environmental protection) as a medical device. The company offers to establish the hardware at customers site to enable the inhouse investigation of organ-models. The company also offers to work as contract research organization (CRO) to deliver reports on organ-on-a-chip assays based on the partner's specification.
The SME is looking for commercial agreements with technical assistance, joint venture agreements, research cooperation agreements and financial agreements.Advantages & innovations The system is automated and monitors the dynamic interaction between a cellular model and a drug or chemical with unsurpassed detail. Therefore, this novel technology reduces time consuming sampling by simultaneous monitoring of multiple samples, which also allows the identification of recovery effects. In contrast to state of the art (e.g. manual still live/dead staining of organ models), automated workflows increase the reproducibility and provide standardized evaluation protocols. Moreover, the measurement of cellular respiration and extracellular acidification rate is an innovation, which increases the accuracy of the analysis drastically and, hence, is able to reduce the costs preclinical in vitro testing or evaluation studies. The combination of automation with microfluidics enables the dynamic supply of the cellular model with fresh nutrients from the common 2-3 days toward a 10 min period. The company demonstrated that herewith a closer demonstration of the circumstances in the human body is possible. Since it measures the metabolic and morphologic changes of the organ model without the use of markers (e.g., fluorescent molecules), it is able to distinguish inhibitory from toxic effects as well as the dynamic interaction of the organ model and the compound under investigation.
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