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Posted: Nov 02, 2011
SiMPore Awarded NIH Grant to Develop Next-generation Cell Culture System
(Nanowerk News) 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 peerreviewed
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
CytoVu® imaging slides are available in a variety of 4-window configurations to fit researcher's
specific needs. Researchers can choose between 3 or 8 micrometer pores to fit the needs of their
specific cell line. Additionally, CytoVu® can be equipped with NanoBarrier™ technology that
restricts cells to their respective compartments, but does not restrict the communication between
them. A degradable NanoBarrier™ is available that harmlessly degrades in 2-3 days to bring
cells into complete contact. CytoVu® imaging slides are available with different basal well
depths to allow researchers to optimize their volume and microscopy requirements.