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GEN News Highlights : Oct 6, 2010

ACEA and Vivo Partner to Develop Stem and Cancer Cell Assays for xCELLigence Platform

New products will utilize HuBiogel human biomatrix technology for 3-D cell growth.

ACEA Biosciences and Vivo Biosciences are teaming up to develop new label-free, real-time assays suitable for stem cells and cancer cells on the xCELLigence system, which was codeveloped by Roche and ACEA. The new assays will hinge on Vivo’s HuBiogel human biomatrix technology, which allows the growth, proliferation and differentiation of primary, cancer and stem cells in a 3-dimensional, physiologically relevant environment.

The xCELLigence system monitors cellular events in real time without the incorporation of labels, by measuring electrical impedance across interdigitated micro-electrodes integrated on the bottom of tissue culture E-Plates. A number of cell-based applications for the system have already been developed, including cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, cell adhesion, cell migration, and invasion and receptor-mediated signaling.

 “HuBiogel is the first commercially available, fully-defined human biomatrix, and we have already demonstrated that cellular behaviour can be very different using HuBiogel compared to other types of matrix,” claims Raj Singh, Ph.D., Vivo president and CEO. “We are confident that real-time and dynamic monitoring of stem cells or cancer cells growing in HuBiogel and dynamically monitored by the xCELLigence System will provide extremely useful and incisive information for basic research as well as drug discovery and development.”

The HuBiogel matrix is free from proteases and growth factors, and allows cells to grow, organize and function as mini-tissues in three dimensions, Vivo claims. The culture system facilitates real-time morphological & functional analyses, and means gene expression by the cultured cells is more likely to mirror in vivo gene expression.

Advantages for applications in drug discovery are manifold, the firm believes. These include: the ability to create normal & disease mini-tissues models; elucidate in vivo-like cellular and molecular endpoints; carry out parallel drug sensitivity tissue toxicity profiling; define bioscaffolds for stem cells & tissue repair research; and allow the long-term culture of patient-derived cells or biopsies. Vivo currently offers a range of products and services based on the HuBiogel technology, spanning ready-to-use matrix and kits, and services for preclinical drug testing, 3D bioassays and stem cell/tissue regeneration studies.