The complexity of the physiological environment is not replicated in petri dishes or microplates. All cells are exquisitely sensitive to their micro-environment which is rich with cues from other cells, and from mechanical stimuli due to flow, perfusion and movement. This is a major limitation to experiments investigating cellular responses in-vitro since the complex interplay of mechanical and biochemical factors are absent. For this reason, we have developed a series of intelligent, and award winning cell culture systems.
All our modular systems are able to apply one or more specific stimuli (i.e. flow, hydrostatic or hydrodynamic pressure, compression, stretching), and can be connected together in order to build-up a physiologically-like in-vitro model. Each chamber maintain the standard geometry of the multi-wells, thus enabling traditional protocols to be transferred directly to the bioreactor modules, without redesign of cell culture experiments. These systems have been the focus of a H2020 project as well as regional and nationally funded grants. Our group has patented several of these devices, which have been licensed to a UK company (Kirkstall Ltd) and an Italian start-up (IVTech srl).
Bioreactors on the go