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Houston, TX, United States

Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: STTR PHASE II | Award Amount: 1.27M | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will use in vitro three-dimensional (3D) cell culturing enabled by the magnetic levitation method (MLM) as an improved tool for toxicity testing. This work will probe the effects of common agents on the lung, liver and kidney, three organs that play a central role in drug metabolism and are predisposed to toxic injury. 2D cell culture, commonly utilized for testing the cytotoxic effects of drugs, displays limited accuracy in predicting toxicity in vivo due to fundamental differences in the cellular microenvironment. While better representations of the 3D architecture of in vivo tissue are provided by animal models, they fail to accurately reflect whether or not drugs will cause cellular damage in humans as a result of biological differences between species. Our preliminary data shows that magnetic levitation maintains cells in culture in an arrangement that allows the cells to develop and communicate in a manner that is much closer to the in vivo environment than other in vitro systems.

The broader impacts of this research are to improve assessment of drug toxicity and chemical hazards, reduce the use of animals, and advance the fields of in vitro toxicology testing and drug discovery. Commercial potential includes expansion of the device into high-throughput screening, generation of a prototype of a gas delivery system with capabilities to perform live cell microscopy, and development of a label-free viability assay for drug discovery and toxicity testing.


Patent
Nano3D Biosciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-02-07

Devices for magnetic 3d culture are described including magnetic lids/bases for single Petri plates, adjustable height cap for same, as well similar devices for multi-magnet culture plates. A pen-like device for sterilely lifting and moving cells is also described, and this magnetic pipettor can also exist in multi-well magnetic pipettor formats.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Currently available models for toxicity screening are not always accurate predictors of toxicity in humans. Animal models are commonly used, but they are costly, time-consuming, and ethically challenging, they vary between species, and they do not accurately predict toxicity in humans. In vitro toxicity tests have been explored for years as cheaper alternatives or as initial screens before in vivo testing, but there are still issues regarding accuracy, primarily becausethey are cultured on two-dimensional (2D) surfaces, while native tissues exist in three-dimensional environments (3D). As a result, while ethical and cost motivations drive toxicity screening towards in vitro models, the limitations of current in viro assays in mimicking native tissue have prevented their widespread acceptance and use. This proposal puts forward a 3D model that is rapid, quantitative, and representative for high-throughput toxicity testing. Recently, research has gravitated towards in


Patent
Nano3D Biosciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-01-13

Cells are grown in 3D culture and topological features obtained by photomicrography are correlated to cell viability and cell cell interactions.


Patent
Nano3D Biosciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-02-07

Devices for magnetic 3d culture are described including magnetic lids/bases for single Petri plates, adjustable height cap for same, as well similar devices for multi-magnet culture plates. A pen-like device for sterilely lifting and moving cells is also described, and this magnetic pipettor can also exist in multi-well magnetic pipettor formats.

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