South Carolina Patent of the Month – November 2021

A bioreactor is any system that supports a biologically active environment. There have been attempts at culturing viable 3D cellular constructs that mimic natural tissue but its proven quite challenging. The key limitation being that there are multiple dynamic biochemical and mechanical interactions that take place between cells in vivo. Many of these are not yet even understood so modeling them is complicated but necessary. 

Kiyatec, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on using cell culture platforms to create patient-specific tumor and immune microenvironments to test and accurately model response to investigational and approved cancer therapies. Their process involves using live cancer cells from biopsy tissue specimens within this external microenvironment. This provides insight into testing therapies without compromising the patient to do so.

In order to achieve this, they developed their own bioreactor system capable of 3D cell culture. Their system has multiple cell culture chambers, each with an inlet port and outlet port which fluid communicate with the chamber. These can then test for drug efficacy, isolate certain cell types from complex tissue samples, and allow for ex vivo culturing of patient tissue samples to help guide treatment courses. They have developed a process which removes the need to culture cells in the traditional 2D condition (eg. petri dishes, well plates etc.). These 2D methods are known to result in non-physiologically relevant cell response and function. Their process cultures cells in vitro and releases them from a 3D soft-stiff composite scaffold by digestion. They are then captured to be reseeded into the 3D culture vessels.

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