Planning 3D Osteocyte cell culture experiments on 2014 International Space Station (ISS) mission
Sedgefield, UK. August 2013 – Market leading 3D cell culture company Reinnervate Ltd today announced that its Alvetex® Scaffold system has been chosen by a group at Massachusetts General Hospital for the first ever 3D osteocytic cell culture experiments in microgravity.
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, or in diseases such as osteoporosis. The group has received funding from NIH and NASA to perform an experiment on the International Space Station in late 2014. This will expand their ongoing studies into the effects of bone loss during space flight. 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 and founder 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,” he added.
Richard Rowling, commercial Director at Reinnervate added, “Dr. Divieti Pajevic’s group looked at many different systems for 3D cell culture, but ultimately needed a simple product that is compatible with histology, to visualise cell structure 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.”
Dr. Divieti-Pajevic’s group will continue to run experiments with Alvetex Scaffold at her laboratory in the Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital in the run up to the 2014 NASA mission. These experiments act as a control for normal gravitational conditions but also use the NASA developed rotating systems that aim to mimic micro-gravity. However, the go-ahead to run these studies on the ISS now offers the only real way to test their hypotheses.
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About Reinnervate Ltd
Reinnervate 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. During 2012 Reinnervate has launched several new formats including 24 and 96 well plates and developed specialist applications for scientists working in the fields of cancer research, cell migration/invasion and stem cell culture/expansion.
Reinnervate was founded in 2002 based on the pioneering research of Professor Stefan Przyborski and his lab at Durham University, UK, and is funded by NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI), management and private investors.
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. REPROCELL (formerly 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 culture plate, 24-well culture plate, 96 well plate, 6-well and 12-well 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. Visit www.reprocell.com/alvetex for a full list of applications.
Alvetex Scaffold was voted as one of the top 100 innovative products of 2011 at the R&D 100 awards and was named among the winners of The Scientist magazine’s “Top 10 Life Science Innovations of 2010”.
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.