Project: Hydrogel-Coated labware with release properties for 3D cell culture simulating in-vivo like environment for embryo culture

The vision:_x000D_The vision of the Eurostars consortium is to develop and produce coated labware enabling 3D Cell culture in a gel environment as well as extending the short shelf life of nutrition medium for use during critical applications such as InVitro Fertilisation and stem cells/regenerative medicine._x000D__x000D_Background: _x000D_Plastic labware is routinely used in Life Science/Health R&D, as well as in clinical settings, and increasingly for critical applications where the cells manipulated in the plastic labware are repositioned within the human body e.g. for in vitro fertilization using embryos and semen, which are then placed in the female uterus, and in regenerative medicine for controlled cell proliferation and/or differentiation._x000D_Traditional Plastic labware e.g. a petri dish allows cell attachment and proliferation however, this primarily takes place in a flat, almost 2D structure. Furthermore, liquid based nutrition media is traditionally added during the cell culture. These features are not representative of the 3D cell structure and a gel-like environment found in vivo e.g. in the female reproductive system (ovaries, uterus tract, etc.)_x000D_From a supply chain and purchasing point of view, there is furthermore a sharp contrast between the shelf life of plastic labware of 3-5 years compared to a shelf life of nutrition media of 8 weeks, thereby making it difficult to offer fully combined/integrated and validated product _x000D__x000D_Approach:_x000D_To develop highly innovative and unique coated plastic labware products suitable for critical clinical applications such as IVF, the complementary expertise of the four project Ps, three R&D performing SME's (Vitrolife AB, Sweden, HertART ApS and Origo Biotech Aps, Denmark) representing a full supply chain and an innovative technological service P, DTI in Denmark is required._x000D__x000D_HertART Aps holds the rights to the only full plastic labware products range developed and approved especially for IVF produced according to ISO 13485 standards._x000D__x000D_Origo holds the rights to coating technology with swelling and release properties suitable for coating of plastic labware. The coating layer is manufactured by state-of-the-art methods, adapting and improving hydrogel forming techniques traditionally used in sanitary towels and contact linses and adapting it for use in the plastic labware industry in order to provide a cost effective solution applicable to existing plastic labware products._x000D_Grafting of the hydrogel is very difficult on polystyrene, which is the material of choise within cell culture. By combining topographical structuring of the labware surface with a biocompatible ceramic coating normally used in the semiconductor industry , the grafting of the hydrogel becomes possible._x000D_ _x000D_Vitrolife holds the right for their nutrition medium developed especially for IVF and stem cell applications as well as organ transplants. Vitrolife has the capability of selecting critical short shelf-life compounds from their medium to be integrated in the dry hydrogel coated onto the plastic labware with increased shelf-life as a result, as well as to be released during subsequent adding of liquid during use. Vitrolfe also have the capabilities to blend this liquid using long-shelf-life components of the nutrition medium into a product which could be added by the end-user during use of the coated plate as a swelling medium. Vitrolife further has expertise in conducting Mouse Embryo Assay and Human Sperm Survival Assay testing for clinical evaluation of coated labware products and nutrition media. Their established global sales organisation and brand being strong within IVF, allows direct assess to global market._x000D__x000D_DTI is accredited and operates after ISO standards. A specialty in the Laboratory for Plastic Technology is the development, grafting, loading and drying of hydrogels._x000D_Being well equipped with state of the art analytical equipment, DTI will conduct gel development, grafting, loading and drying studies using the coated material. The laboratory will also conduct studies on release profiles of loaded compounds when swelled to _x000D_The expected results include:_x000D_- The development of hydrogel coated labware with swelling and release properties._x000D_- The development of hydrogel coated labware loaded with critical components from Nutrition medium._x000D_- The development special nutrition media with increased shelf life which can be added by the end-user to the loaded hydrogel and result in swelling to a gel and release of compounds to the cells._x000D__x000D_The direct beneficiaries will be the three participating SME's, who expect a substantial company growth as a result of this project, and DTI who will enrich their research competencies as well as service offerings. The indirect beneficiares will be the clinics and patients who will benefit from the more in-vivo like 3D cell culture environment as well as for the whole supply chain the benefit of easier logistics in relation to shelf life of labware and medium.

Acronym Gel-Coat (Reference Number: 7112)
Duration 01/04/2012 - 31/03/2014
Project Topic The vision of the Eurostars consortium is to develop and produce coated labware enabling 3D Cell culture in a gel environment as well as extending the short shelf life of nutrition medium for use during critical applications such as InVitro Fertilisation and stem cells/regenerative medicine.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 HertART ApS Partner Denmark
4 Origo Biotech ApS Partner Denmark
4 Vitrolife Sweden AB Coordinator Sweden
4 Danish Technological Institute, Centre for Plastics Technology Partner Denmark