SiMPore Inc. has been awarded a phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a microarray cell culture system.
SiMPore will examine methods to create micro-patterned walls in order to expand SiMPore's ultrathin membrane offerings from 4-wells, currently available in CytoVu imaging slides, into a microarray format of 96 or 384 wells. These new microarrays would fill a need for high-throughput or single cell studies.
"These microarrays will be ideal for researchers looking at the phenotypic changes of single cells in response to drug treatment or co-culture conditions," according to SiMPore President and CEO Thomas Gaborski. He adds, "A microarray format of SiMPore's ultrathin membrane technology would allow researchers to save on reagent and material costs that can be especially significant in drug discovery research."
The proposed microarrays are an extension of SiMPore's CytoVu imaging slides. CytoVu imaging slides are popular among experimenters conducting co-culture, migration, and drug permeability studies. Unlike similar products with traditional membranes, the ultrathin and highly permeable membranes within CytoVu imaging slides enable free passage of all physiologically relevant communications.
The ultrathin membranes in CytoVu, the same as in the proposed microarray, are highly permeable and optically transparent, allowing novel experimentation in co-culture and live imaging. Gaborski indicated that "the CytoVu membranes are just 0.1 microns thin, and have an extensive array of through-pores that allow ideal co-cultures." In comparison to normal membrane based cell culture, SiMPore's membranes are 100 times thinner and significantly more permeable than conventional track-etched membranes creating more physiologically relevant culture environments.
SiMPore's Gaborski underscored the company's continued emphasis on conducting high-quality peer-reviewed research. Since the company's formation in 2007, they have amassed nine peer-reviewed publications and, with this new award, three SBIR grants from the NIH. According to Gaborski, "This new grant further demonstrates SiMPore's commitment to a productive R&D program and is validation of our ability to develop novel and impactful membrane-enabled products."