3-D Tissue Culture Chamber

UW Ref# 7654 Introduction Many of the seminal findings in cell and molecular biology have come from cultures of cells grown in two dimensions but the limitations of biology in just 2D are becoming clear. Cells in tissue are not just autonomous masses but consist of many interdependent cell types and their surrounding extracellular materials in which the complex and dynamic interplay between them determine of affect the tissues’ function, development and physiological balance. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a 3D soft tissue culture chamber that mimics the tissue architecture and environment more realistically and can be used for in situ applications in biological, tissue engineering, and therapeutic studies. Technology description The invention is a compartmented chamber made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) top layer, a chamber created using micromachined PMMA lithography and a bottom glass coverslip. This chamber offers unique features, such as direct in situ cell observation, an easily configurable and controllable flow environment, and a removable cell-gel culture that can be used in post-experimental analysis. Business Opportunity Numerous fields would benefit from improved 3-dimensional microfluidic platforms for cell culture, including drug toxicity, metabolism and stem cell differentiation studies. For example, the tumor microenvironment can exert both stimulatory and inhibitory influences on proliferation and malignant properties of tumor cells; the morphogenesis and functional differentiation of mammary epithelium depends on signaling from systemic hormones and on cues from the local tissue environment. Biologists and bioengineers are increasingly turning to 3D cell cultures, where they are discovering patterns of gene expression and other biological activities that more closely mirror what happens in living organisms. Intellectual property position The University is currently evaluating this technology for patent protection. Related Publication(s)

For more information on this technology contact:
Angela Loihl, Ph.D., MBA Technology Manager, Invention Licensing aloihl@u.washington.edu 206-543-3970

Type of Offer: Licensing

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