Microfluidic Liver Array for Long Term In Vitro Hepatocyte Culture and Screening

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 4R44ES019035-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44ES019035
Amount: $800,775.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NIEHS
Solicitation Number: PA09-006
Small Business Information
2544 Barrington Court, Hayward, CA, -
DUNS: 171076743
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (510) 785-9846
Business Contact
Phone: (510) 895-1985
Email: pjlee@cellasic.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this proposal is to complete development of a Microfluidic Liver Array (MLA) platform for improved and lower cost in vitro toxicity screening targeting the human liver. This funding will directly lead tothe commercialization of a product with widespread application in the biopharmaceutical and chemical safety industry as an in vitro alternative to animal testing. The MLA uses state-of-the-art microfabrication technology to create high density arrays of micro- liver tissue populated with primary human hepatocytes. Our unique microfluidic design mimics the liver micro-vasculature, providing a continuous perfusion environment and 3D cellular architecture proven to enhance liver specific functions. The MLA is designed to conform to standard SBS (Society for Biomolecular Sciences) standards, allowing operation by existing screening instrumentation and assays. Moreover, our proprietary manufacturing process and reduction in cell/reagent usage will significantly reduce the overall cost of in vitro hepatocyte toxicity screening. In order to commercialize this technology, it is necessary to more fully validate the long term biologic functions of human hepatocytes cultured in the MLA, and compare with the best current in vitro and in vivo data. To facilitate this task, CellASIC has partnered with CellzDirect/Invitrogen Corporation, the global leader in hepatocyte related screening and research. This partnership will ensure that the MLA is rigorously tested against industry relevant benchmarks to maximize the commercial utility of the novel technology. The objective of this 2.5-year SBIR Fast Track grant proposal are: 1. Evaluate the long-term maintenance of human liver-specific xenobiotic metabolizing functions and pathways in the MLA compared with existing methods 2. Improve the MLA platform to suit commercial screening applications PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: There is a high demand both from regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical/chemical development companies for improved in vitro toxicity screening technologies that are predictive of human exposure risks while reducing the reliance on animal testing. CellASIC's Microfluidic Liver Array platform uses state-of-the-art microfluidics technologyto recreate the liver tissue microenvironment in a high throughput array, resulting in more accurate chemical toxicity assessment at significantly reduced cost.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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