Vascularized Human In Vitro Cultures with Compact Modular Live Imaging Robotic Incubator for Preclinical Toxicology Studies

Perfused 3D cell culture systems mimic the blood flow and this offers a controlled exchange of nutrients, oxygen and metabolites. Available solutions however are complex to assemble and only offer a low throughput. Implementation in an automated environment would allow larger studies and patient-group specific human models to identify outcomes before entry-into-human (EiH) and reduce late phase risks.

Important in vitro culture advances have been made with immortalized cell lines, setting the foundation for preclinical human in vitro models. Nevertheless instruments in those methods are not designed specifically for in vitro culture, leading to contamination prone manipulations and cellular injuries due to stress. Establishing vascularized in vitro cultures with cell lines or patient-specific remains challenging, especially for maturation assays (>7days) and lacks rich live data necessary for robust reproducibility.

Current laboratory low and high throughput experiment instrumentations for in vitro culture are very space and resource-demanding. The brutal environmental and temperature changes are impacting culture evolution, reproducibility and behaviour. The proposed approach is to design an ultra-compact robotic in vitro culture-specific apparatus in which the in vitro culture can grow from the beginning to the end-point measurement, thus minimizing manipulations and the risk of contaminations.

Source: "Vascularized human in vitro cultures with compact modular live imaging robotic incubator for preclinical toxicology studies" Schicklin C., ITB Frontiers in Human Model Systems conference Poster, Basel, Nov. 2021

Project leader: Cédric Schicklin
Project sponsor: F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG