The SBS meeting marked the U.S. launch of Reinnervate’s alvetex® cell culture scaffold for 3-D in vitro cell growth. Initially marketed in Europe in a 12-well plate format, alvetex is now available as 6-well and 12-well inserts. It is supplied as a gamma-irradiated, ready-to-use polystyrene membrane and can be optimized for specific cell types and applications. Users can control the degree of penetration within the 3-D structure and optimize the culture format and parameters to support long-term cell culture. The new well inserts allow cells to be fed simultaneously from above and below. They fit into multiwell plates or into insert holders designed to fit into a Petri dish.
Jens Kelm, head of product management and co-founder of InSphero, presented a tutorial on the benefits of using 3-D microtissue models for screening to evaluate drug efficacy and toxicity. InSphero developed an assay-ready microtissue mass production technology that generates 3-D microtissues of various tissue types containing 100–5,000 cells, without the use of a scaffold. Customers can purchase standard microtissues or provide InSphero with their own cell lines. The company recently introduced tumor microtissue models for colon, liver, prostate, and kidney cancer.
The Automation Partnership recently announced a name change to TAP Biosystems. The company also introduced a 96-well version of its RAFT™ (Real Architecture for 3D Tissue™) system for generating multi-cellular 3-D collagen-based tissue models.
Kuraray’s micro-space cell culture plate designed to support 3-D cell growth is currently available in Japan and will be introduced to the European and U.S. markets in early to mid-2012.
Cellular Image Analysis
GE Healthcare introduced the IN Cell Analyzer 6000 high-content cellular-analysis system, which features a variable iris-like aperture, laser-based confocal system that is fully adjustable and controlled via a user interface to maximize speed, image quality, and performance channel-by-channel for a particular assay. It can range from widefield to full confocal imaging. The new Investigator 2.0 software platform supports the IN Cell Analyzer 6000.
Genedata Screening® 9, new from Genedata, features an enhanced user interface that allows for simultaneous processing of multiple dose-response assays and new display capabilities for high-content screening that enable users to view images and accompanying data together, making it easier to identify outliers and to streamline the process of going from plate to well to image. Images are generated as an experiment is under way, allowing users to visualize the kinetics and optimize assay parameters.
Promega featured oncology-related drug discovery tools including its ADP-Glo™ Max homogeneous luminescent assay for measuring ATPase or kinase activity. The company’s GSH/GSSF-Glo™ assay quantifies total glutathione, GSSG levels, and GSH/GSSG ratios in cultured cells as a measure of oxidative stress and an indicator of a toxicologic drug response. The bioluminescent histonedeacetylase (HDAC) assay is designed for cell-based screening of HDAC enzyme activity and potential inhibitors of these epigenetic modifiers.
PerkinElmer added 12 new reagents to its AlphaLISA® platform for epigenetics research. The homogeneous proximity immunoassays measure methylation or acetylation and can accommodate full-length histones and nucleosomes.