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Alvetex® 3D cell culture platform reaches new heights with project aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Sedgefield, UK. April 2015 – Market leading 3D cell culture company Reinnervate Ltd, part of the ReproCELL group, today announced that a rocket carrying its Alvetex® Scaffold technology blasted into Space this week. Alvetex will be used in experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Alvetex Scaffold products allow researchers to overcome the limitations of growing cells on flat surfaces by creating a unique three dimensional (3D) surface that allows cells to form tissue-like structures in an in vitro setting. A team from Massachusetts General Hospital investigating bone loss during bed rest and diseases such as osteoporosis, has incorporated Alvetex Scaffold in experiments 150 miles above the surface of the Earth after the equipment is delivered to the ISS by the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

Assistant Prof. of Medicine Paola Divieti Pajevic’s group has been successfully using Alvetex Scaffold to culture murine osteocytes in 3D to better mimic in-vivo growth conditions. Their long term aim is to understand the mechanisms of bone loss during unloading as occurs during prolonged bed rest, microgravity and in diseases such as osteoporosis. The group has received funding from NIH and NASA to perform these experiment on the International Space Station. The group will culture osteocytes in bioreactors that will automate the process of feeding the cells during the ISS mission. This automatic system was specially designed by their implementation partners, CALM Technologies Inc.

“We are absolutely delighted that Alvetex Scaffold has been chosen for such an important and high profile project’ said Prof. Stefan Przyborski, CSO of Reinnervate. 3D cell culture is increasingly proving its worth in a wide variety of academic research areas. The ability to re-create more natural cellular structure, organisation and function in vitro is critical to advancing our understanding of basic cellular biology.”

Richard Rowling, CEO Reinnervate added, “Dr. Divieti Pajevic’s group looked at many different systems for 3D cell culture, and ultimately needed a simple product that is compatible with histology, imaging and reliable recovery of total RNA to study gene expression profiles. Alvetex Scaffold was one of the few commercially available products that met all these criteria. We are really pleased that Alvetex Scaffold is being used in such a fascinating project.”

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About Reinnervate Ltd

Reinnervate, a REPROCELL group company, is an innovative life sciences company dedicated to making routine 3D cell culture a reality for researchers in academia and in the pharmaceutical and related industries.

Reinnervate develops, manufactures and sells products for 3D cell culture for applications such as cancer research, drug discovery, HTS, stem cell biology and many others.

Reinnervate was founded in 2002 based on the pioneering research of Professor Stefan Przyborski and his lab at Durham University funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the UK.

About Alvetex®Scaffold

Alvetex® Scaffold is a unique polystyrene material that provides a robust and inert scaffold for cells to grow and form complex 3D structures in vitro, mimicking the normal growth and formation of tissues in the body. Reinnervate has extensively tested and validated Alvetex® Scaffold with a large number of cell types, including liver, skin, cancer and stem cells, all of which have important applications in basic research into cell development, disease modelling and drug safety screening.

Alvetex®Scaffold has been launched globally in several formats: a 12-well, 24-well, 96 well and 384 well plates, 6-well and 12-well cell culture inserts. These formats enable scientists to construct different 3D cell culture models and assays. These include screening of novel drugs / drug combinations on 3D culture and co-culture models, co-culture to study cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions, the growth of cells at the air-liquid interface and the long-term culture of cells.

Note: Reinnervate Ltd (County Durham, England) was acquired by REPROCELL Inc (Yokohama, Japan) in August 2014. Biopta Ltd (Glasgow, Scotland) was acquired by REPROCELL in November 2015. REPROCELL Europe Ltd was established by merging Reinnervate and Biopta in June 2016.

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