Partnering opportunity

Distributors sought for cryopreservable 3D tissue models that fit for ready-to-use toxicity tests


A German research enterprise, active in fields of air handling and refrigeration technologies, developed a cryopreservable 3D tissue model (e.g. for cytotoxicity examinations). It is a novel cryopreserved of-the-shelf system with tissue-typical complexity and overcomes limited transport & storage possibilities, capacities of 3D tissue models in cell culture plates. Partnership with companies from pharmaceutic or life science sector are envisaged in terms of distribution services agreements.

Partner sought

The client is looking for strong partners, e.g. pharmaceutical companies or life science companies who are engaged/ interested in the distribution of 3D tissue models. Partnerships with companies that produce test kits for the REACH Regulation themselves or companies that want to enter into this market are also welcome.


The German independent and free research enterprise with the legal status of a non-profit limited liability company has long-standing experience in the fields of air handling and refrigeration technologies and their applications. The institute developed an innovative cryopreservable 3D tissue model for cytotoxicity examinations as an of-the-shelf system with a well-established tissue-typical complexity. This unique technology consists of three main parts: 1. Tissue model. The tissue model is based on two components, which are assembled within a 96 well microtiter plate. The first component is a tailor-made three-dimensional collagen matrix that serves as a stabilizing framework and support structure for tissue integration. The matrix can be produced by a two-stage, patented freeze-drying process called ‘model-based ice templating (MBIT)’. Porosity, pore size and pore shape can be exactly adjusted to mimic the natural cellular environment. The second component is a cell carrier gel, which contains suspended human primary cells in a tissue typical number. The gel can be homogenously applied to the matrix by a pipetting automat. Directly after sealing of the multiwell plate the assay is cryopreserved to allow unlimited transportation and storage. After cryopreservation the assay can be revitalized at 37°C in the microplate reader, to enable cells to tissue formation by intracellular contacts. In this way, a vital 3D human mucosal model is obtained for up to 60 fluorescence spectrophotometric toxicity texts of solutions and extracts within 48 hours. 2. Tissue protection and development. The sophisticated cell carrier gel of the tissue model already contains all required ingredients as well as for the cryoprotection of the cells during freezing and thawing as for the subsequent tissue formation: A) Natural tissue components, which act as cell-friendly, non-toxic anti-freeze additives (cryoprotectants) B) All required nutrients, growth factors and buffer substances for a tissue consolidation period of 48 hours and the subsequent toxicity assay at 37°C in normal atmosphere. 3. Cryopreservation and storage. The cryopreservation of the assay plate can be operated in a standard controlled rate freezer with liquid nitrogen supply. A cell specific cryoprotocol and a special heat transfer unit for multiwell plates is required in order to apply a constant, cell-specific cooling rate of the tissue model during the whole freezing process. After freezing to – 80°C (or lower), the cryopreserved assay plates can be stored for several months (ultra-low temperature (ULT) lab freezer at – 80°C) up to years (below – 130°C in a cryogenic storage tank) and later on transported on dry ice to the user or customer. Now, the German client would like to enter new markets and therefore, is interested in strong partners who are ready to act as distributor for the described technology. This could be realized in terms of a distribution services agreement.

Advantages and innovations

Overcoming the limited transport and storage possibilities as well as capacities and availability of 3D tissue models in standard cell culture plates (multiwell/microtiter) is one of the main advantages. Innovative features: • Fully automatable manufacturing of 3D tissue in standard well format without cultivation effort • 3D tissue is cryopreserved without any toxic cryoprotectants, only cell-friendly natural tissue components are used • High resistance of the frozen assay against transport damages (cold chain interruptions etc.) or adverse storage conditions • At least 12 month of shelf life in conventional ULT (ultra-low temperature) lab freezers • Proven 100% cell survival after simple thawing in a water bath • Only 48 hours of revitalisation without medium exchange and cell culture equipment • Because the cryopreserved 3D model is developed as a closed system, no sterility during the whole application process is needed • Simple, robust and fully automatable test routine directly on the assay plate Key features are easily applicable to any other assay type with gel-embedded cells or 3D tissue models, like functional & metabolic models, disease/ tumor models).

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)


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