In initial studies, the CellDrum technology has shown its potential to complement cost-intensive and ethically controversial animal experiments in late preclinical studies. It is based on a biohybrid cardiac muscle tissue from human stem cell-derived cardiac muscle cells and high-precision, ultra-thin and hyperelastic silicone membranes. Together they reflect the properties of real heart tissue in unprecedented quality and reproducibility.
The technology has been developed at the University of Applied Sciences Aachen since 2001, but for a long time it has been used exclusively for academic purposes. As part of the doctoral thesis by Matthias Goßmann, one of the founders of innoVitro, it was further developed into an industrial demonstrator and validated on a wide range of pharmacological agents.
Compared to existing solutions, the CellDrum technology offers both the scalability to high throughput as well as the physiological environment for the cells. This makes in vitro contractility measurements attractive for the pharmaceutical industry, which is exposed to increasing governmental regulation of animal experiments.
The newly developed measurement methodology allows intensive scaling at low cost. In the framework of a grant programme for Hightech start-ups, the device architecture is currently being scaled to 96-well format in cooperation with Nanion Technologies.
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