A next generation drug testing device
|The Body-on-a-chip. A 96-well format multi-tissue interaction testing chip (close-up shows microtissue compartment with loading port). Ten parallel microfluidic channels interconnect six culturing compartments, in which microtissues of different types can be loaded|
The evaluation of candidate compounds with the help of in vitro cell-based assays is an integral part of drug development processes. To date the information gained from conventional cell culture studies has not been meaningful enough to eliminate a large fraction of unsuitable candidate compounds at early stages of the screening process. The Body-on-a-Chip (BoC) concept constitutes an enabling technology for in depth understanding of interactions between drugs and their metabolites in various organs with regard to toxic effects (ADME/tox) and/or drug efficacy. All experiments were be conducted with 3D microtissue models, which offer in many cases better predictability of drug effects than conventional 2D test systems. The platform accommodated different types of microtissues and features microfluidic interconnections between these compartments, thus mimicking the physiological context and conditions in a complex organism. Sensitive analytical methods such as mass spectroscopy was integrated into the overall design in order to enable metabolic profiling of chip-based cell systems. The model is designed to enable collection of data from a comprehensive in vitro model, which identifes multi-organ toxicity and/or decreased efficacy due to metabolic activity, and thus has the potential to improve the drug development process by significantly reducing development costs and time to market.
- InSphero Scientist Receives 3Rs Award for Microtissue-based Body on a Chip System [Press Release]
- The EU Body on a Chip Project honored by the Seventh European Union Framework Programe (FP7) in the Achievements of FP7 - examples that make us proud booklet. Read more …
- European Commission article summarizing BoC Project
- European Commission Blog Post by InSphero CTO Jens M. Kelm
- InSphero Publication Honored for Potential to Reduce Use of Research Animals [Press Release]
View peer-reviewed publications resulting from the BoC Project on our Literature References page
- Establishment of a modular, microchip-based technology that enables multi-tissue culturing in compartments interconnected by microfluidic channels and equipped with access ports for accompanying analysis.
- Establishment of low-volume mass-spectrometric methods to enrich and detect metabolic analyte molecules in culture compartments and interconnecting channels.
- Establishment of rat and human organotypic microtissues as relevant test platforms for drug screening.
- Microtissue-based toxicological metabolic fingerprints using single and interconnected compartments.
- Evaluation of systemic efficacy and off-target effects of candidate compounds in a single in vitro system.
- Use of the developed platform to produce new scientific results and insights in the area of systems biology and pharmacology in a "whole" organism concept.
Bioengineering lab (BEL) ETH Zurich, Basel, Switzerland
The Bio Engineering Laboratory (BEL) was established in 2008 at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel. BEL is rooted in Engineering and Physics and is performing interdisciplinary research and education relevant to Biology and Systems Biology. The BEL has longstanding experience in the fields of chemical and biosensor microsystems, bioelectronics and microfluidic cell handling/analysis technologies.
InSphero AG, Zurich, Switzerland
InSphero AG is a spin off company from the Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zürich. Currently, InSphero works with 7 out of the global top 10 pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies to implement its highly predictive 3D microtissue models into the development workflows. InSphero is a worldwide operating company with customers in Europe, the US and Asia.
Animal Physiology and Neurobiology K.U. Leuven, Belgium
The laboratory of Functional Genomics and Proteomics has a longstanding expertise in protein, peptide and small molecule identification, combined with state-of-the-art technology, amongst which the incorporation of microfluidics. The laboratory has a strong expertise in the development of highly sensitive mass spectrometry methods for small volume samples.
Leibniz Research Centre For Working Environment and Human Factors Technical University Dortmund, Germany
IfADo is a Leibniz research center at Dortmund Technical University with 120 employees and a strong focus in Toxicology. The institute has an excellently equipped imaging center with confocal laser scanning, two-photon and time lapse microscopy, cell and molecular biology labs, well-established techniques for isolation and cultivation of hepatocytes and analysis of hepatic functions.
Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, United Kingdom
The AstraZeneca Oncology Innovative Medicine (iMed) unit is responsible to carry out early drug discovery research in Oncology diseases and provide pre-clinical contribution in the development of new Oncology medicines. The Alderley Park Oncology group has developed several highly successful Oncology medicines. The unit is responsible for all stages of pre-clinical drug discovery and, in conjunction with its internal & external collaborator, continues to advance the frontier of Oncology research using a combination of in vitro cell models and animal models.
For further questions please contact:phone +41 44 515 04 94
Dr. Olivier Frey
Microphysiological Systems Project Manager, InSphero AG