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University of Saarbrücken announces positive study results with InSphero solution

3D cell culture literature picks – Feb 2012

Meet InSphero at upcoming fairs & events

InSphero presents at Cyprotex Drug Discovery workshop - Cambridge, USA, 12 Apr 2012

Open sales positions – join our growing team!

University of Saarbrücken announces positive study results with InSphero solution
InSphero is working closely with Prof. Elmar Heinzle and Dr. Fozia Noor from University of Saarbrücken in Germany for the study of metabolism and drug toxicity in organotypic HepG2 cultures. The results of this study were recently published in the Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science (1). The authors demonstrated that HepG2 organotypic cultures, produced with InSphero’s GravityPlus system, showed improved hepatic function (albumin production, amino acid metabolism and Cyp1A induction) compared to 2D monolayer or sandwich cultures. IC50 values for Tamoxifen toxicity were higher in the spheroid culture as compared to 2D cultures, which could be explained by a higher efflux capacity through export pumps MDR-1 and MRP-2.

InSphero’s spheroid culture system offers, report the authors, several advantages for reproducible spheroids production, supernatant and tissue sampling and the ability to perform long-term cultures for more than two weeks.

(1) Mueller D, Koetemann A, Noor F (2011) Organotypic Cultures of HepG2 Cells for In Vitro Toxicity Studies. J Bioengineer & Biomedical Sci.

3D cell culture literature picks – Feb 2012
3D cell culture can be a key technology to improve the reliability and biological relevance of cell-based assays. The number of publications in the field grows quickly, and it is hard to stay on top of current research activities worldwide.
Our applications team keeps a close eye on new and relevant publications to keep our customers informed. From now on,  we will publish our review of a small selection of current 3D-cell-culture journal papers every month.  

Coherent angular motion in the establishment of multicellular architecture of glandular tissues. Tanner K, Mori H, Mroue R, Bruni-Cardoso A, and Bissell MJ. 2012. PNAS 109(6):1973-78
Applying real time fluorescent imaging of human breast epithelial cells in laminin rich ECM, Mina Bissel and her co-workers nicely demonstrate the formation of epithelial architecture (acini) upon cohesive rotational movements as cells undergo mitosis. Angular motion and sphere formation were tightly linked to cellular polarization and cell adhesion via E-cadherin, features that have been lost in malignant cells with deranged morphogenesis leading only to lose aggregates. These observations underscore the relevance of cell polarity and cell-cell contacts for proper epithelial morphogenesis through angular motility.

Towards automated production and drug sensitivity testing using scaffold-free spherical tumor microtissues. Drewitz M, Helbling M, Fried N, Bieri M, Moritz W, Lichtenberg J, Kelm JM. 2011. Biotechnol J. 6(12):1488-96
As 3D cell culture represents a more heterogeneous cell culture system by forming spatially defined microenvironments with nutrient and oxygen concentration gradients, zones of proliferation and cell cycle arrest and varying exposures to compounds, production and handling of 3D cell culture requires a high degree of standardization. Drewitz et al. investigated the reproducibility of scaffold-free tumor microtissues production using the hanging drop cell culture method handled either manually or with a robotic liquid handling device. The data convincingly demonstrate a high degree of reproducibility with respect to microtissue size and tumor spheroid growth characteristics. This resulted in highly robust IC50 values when HCT116 microtissues were treated with two different compounds. This report clearly shows how hanging drop technology can be readily implemented to produce microtissues for high-throughput drug screening.

The 3D tissue microenvironment modulates DNA methylation and E-cadherin expression in squamous cell carcinoma. DesRochers TM, Shamis Y, Alt-Holland A, Takata T, Wang G, Jackson-Grusby L, Garlick JA. 2012. Epigenetics 7(1): 34-46
This article highlights the influence of the tissue microenvironment on cancer progression and metastasis formation. Takata et al. could demonstrate that tumor cell migration and organisational growth largely depends on E-cadherin expression which is controlled by epigenetic regulation and influenced by the tumor cell microenvironment.

Meet InSphero at upcoming fairs & events
Meet the InSphero team at following fairs, conferences and workshops to learn how scaffold-free organotypic 3D microtissues, and 3D optimized assays, are boosting the process of drug discovery and development.

To arrange a meeting or a webinar, or register for a workshop please send us an E-mail.

InSphero presents at Cyprotex Drug Discovery workshop - Cambridge, USA, 12 Apr 2012
Meet the InSphero team at the Cyprotex workshop to learn how scaffold-free, organotypic, 3D microtissues and 3D optimized assays are boosting the process of drug discovery and development. Cyprotex is the world's largest CRO specializing in preclinical ADME Tox which provides the most complete range of ADME Tox CRO services available worldwide.

Official workshop website with more information.
To arrange a meeting or a webinar please contact us.

Open sales positions – join our growing team!
InSphero is looking for a

  • Sales Manager (US East Coast, 100%),
  • Sales Manager (Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia, 100%) and
  • Inside Sales Support Specialist (60-100%)
to further grow our sales activities. If you would relish a new challenge in an entrepreneurial and fast-growing company, we would like to hear from you! Please find the full job advertisements here.

Find InSphero’s products and services also on assaydepot.com
Click to find more about.

About InSphero

InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in-vitro 3D microtissues for highly predictive drug testing. The company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, currently counts 6 of the top ten global pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies as customers, and is helping them implement the company’s patent-pending microtissue technology in their development work-flow. InSphero’s 3D microtissues are scaffold free, highly reproducible and delivered in an automation-compatible 96-well format to replace conventional 2D cell assays for better biological relevance and predictivity. The 3D cancer microtissues reflect tumor physiology and are used routinely for screening. For toxicology and metabolics applications, rat and human 3D liver microtissues predict even rare cases of idiosyncratic toxicology and remain viable for more than 5 weeks for chronic studies. InSphero’s off-the-shelf portfolio of assay-ready microtissues is complemented by custom-made 3D microtissues with a development time of 4-6 weeks and production turnaround of less than 10 days.
InSphero is a spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich. The company was recognized for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of awards, including the VentureKick award, Heuberger Entrepreneurial Award, CTIstartup certification and the SLAS New Product Award (NPA) 2011 Designation. InSphero is also officially certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

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