Reinnervate Ltd and Roslin Cellab, two U.K. companies in the fields of 3D cell culture and stem cell biology, announced that they will join forces to develop protocols for the 3D growth of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
“This is a
great opportunity for two innovative U.K. companies to combine their expertise
and knowledge to produce exciting new tools for stem cell biologists,” said
Richard Rowling—commercial director at Reinnervate Ltd. “We are delighted that
Roslin Cellab has agreed to work with us on this project. They bring a wealth
of experience and expert knowledge in the development and delivery of custom
tools and protocols in the field of hESC biology. Their professional approach
and attention to detail is just what we were looking for,” he added.
Stefan Przyborski, CSO and founder of Reinnervate Ltd, commented: “It is well
known that the physical environment in which cells grow plays an important role
in controlling cell differentiation and the development of functioning tissues.
Current 2D models restrict the growth potential of differentiating stem cells.
The culture of cells in 3D radically enhances cell growth, differentiation and
function. At Reinnervate, we have developed Alvetex Scaffold
which provides a solution for simple and routine 3D cell culture. In this
collaboration, we are combining the advantages of 3D cell growth with the
enormous potential of hESCs. Preliminary work has already demonstrated enhanced
neural development by stem cells using Alvetex Scaffold
technology. We are now engaged in more extensive investigations to fully
exploit 3D cell differentiation by hESCs in collaboration with Roslin Cell Lab.”
manager of business development at Roslin Cellab said, “We are seeing great
demand for improved 3D culture systems. Stem cell scientists can use these to
study the biology of the stem cell ‘niche.’ This is the 3D microenvironment in
which stem cells normally reside until they receive signals that cause them to
start dividing and to move out into the organ to differentiate into cells of
the required type (eg. heart, brain or liver cells) and repair tissue damage.
As a company we have a strong interest in liver cells (hepatocytes) which we
can make from our stem cell lines. It is known that when hepatocytes are grown
in 3D structures, they have both better metabolic enzyme activity and extended
life spans, which are both great advantages when using these cells in
cell-based toxicity assays.”
As part of
the collaboration, Reinnervate will supply its market leading Alvetex Scaffold
technology and general expertise in the 3D growth of cells in vitro. Roslin
Cellab will supply cells, expertise, and protocol development capabilities to
companies will also investigate the growth of hESCs on new alvetex product
formats that may offer the ability to improve and simplify embryoid body assay
protocols. Embryoid bodies are derived from stem cells and consist of a broad
array of differentiated tissues. In many respects they resemble the structures
that form in teratoma tumours when stem cells are transplanted into an animal
host. An aspect of this collaboration will include using alvetex technology to
support the growth of embryoid body-like structures. This will subsequently be
developed into a robust procedure to reduce the need to use animals for
producing teratomas as a test of stem cell developmental potential.
terms were not disclosed.