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The University of Campinas in Brazil in collaboration with The Electrospinning Company, UCL and Nottingham Trent University has published a paper in the Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering describing a novel electrospun scaffold containing Copaiba oil. The incorporation of bioactive compounds into biodegradable polymers, such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) allows the fabrication of drug releasing bioactive scaffolds for potential use in applications such as wound care. Native to the tropical region of Latin America, Copaiba oil is extracted from material from the Copaifera species. The oil is a FDA approved compound known for its wound healing, anti-inflammatory, analgesics, antifungal and antimicrobial functions.Tests of cell growth with lung fibroblast cells reported a strong affinity of the fibroblasts and the biomaterial (see image on the right). The Company, in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, hosted Ana Luiza Millas, a student from Campinas, in a Santander-sponsored exchange programme. She also collaborated with Dr Yusuf Mohammed of University College London based at Research Complex Harwell on imaging of the materials and cells. A. L. G. Millas, R. McKean, R. Stevens, M. Yusuf, J. V.W. Silveira, M. B. Puzzi, E. Bittencourt "Fabrication of electrospun scaffolds incorporating an Amazonian therapeutic oil from the Copaifera sp. for wound care applications" J. Biomater. Tissue Eng. 4 (2014), pp. 217-220.

The Electrospinning Company has been chosen as Industrial Process news' Company of the Month in January 2014 following the launch of the 96 well plate containing Mimetix for 3D cell culture. To read the article click here

Medicyte GmbH to distribute Mimetix scaffolds

Oxford, UK and Heidelberg, Germany, 3rd February 2014: The Electrospinning Company, provider of electrospun polymer scaffolds, announced that Medicyte, provider of human primary cells and upcyte® cell strains as well as inventors of the upcyte® and vericyte® technology, has been appointed as a distributor of The Electrospinning Company’s Mimetix® 3D cell culture plates. "We are excited about working with The Electrospinning Company to explore the growing area of 3D cell culture. The Mimetix scaffolds very well mimic the nature and function of the extracellular matrix. Various upcyte cells can readily be seeded and subsequently penetrate into the scaffolds. As the scaffolds are available in all popular formats, they enable us to now perform scalable metabolic studies using our upcyte Hepatocytes in a robust and standardized manner. The combination of both technologies will undoubtedly lead to a more predictive culture model without the limitation of cell supply" commented Dr. Joris Braspenning, Managing Director of Medicyte GmbH. "The Electrospinning Company is delighted to be working with Medicyte to develop and offer standard, scalable predictive liver cell culture models with the predictive power of 3D" said Ann Kramer, CEO of The Electrospinning Company. Medicyte will offer Mimetix 3D cell culture plates together with its upcyte Hepatocytes. Early data, already presented at academic meetings, indicates that Medicyte’s upcyte hepatocytes combine the benefits of quantity (generation of up to 2000 vials per donor) with the quality of primary hepatocytes. Furthermore, Mimetix 96 well plates provide an environment for the 3D culture of upcyte Hepatocytes and investigation of CYP ...

Towards the reality of large scale production of human stem cells: The Electrospinning Company is a member of the HESUB consortium, which has been awarded €5.7 million over three years by the European Union 7th framework programme to develop a single-use bioreactor for the cost-effective production of human stem cells. The project started on 1 May 2013. Stem cell-based therapy holds great promise for a number of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and autoimmune diseases. However, implementation is held back by a number of factors including the lack of ability to manufacture stem cells in a large scale. Current methods, which rely on expansion of cells in 2D in static culture, are labour intensive and inefficient. In addition, inherent variations in the cell environment, for example in pH, nutrient availability and accumulation of toxic by-products, are issues that also have to be resolved in order to achieve a reproducible production of high quality cells. The consortium is developing a perfusion bioreactor to provide a stable environment for expansion of stem cells by continual renewal of the culture medium, which will be subject to constant monitoring by integrated miniature sensors. The cells will be grown in an innovatively designed 3D nanofibre scaffold environment that is protected from shear stress, which can adversely affects cell signalling and differentiation. The system will be validated and optimised for the production of myogenic stem cells, which hold promise for the treatment of the incurable muscle-wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which afflicts 1 ...

Mimetix 3D plate awarded ELRIG New Technology prize

The Electrospinning Company’s multiwell plate for 3D cell culture containing the Mimetix® scaffold was awarded the prize for best new innovative technology at the European Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (ELRIG) Drug Discovery Conference in Manchester in September. The conference was attended by 1100 delegates and the award was given to the exhibitor with most delegate votes. Mimetix is an electrospun scaffold that mimics the extracellular matrix and provides an ideal environment to support the growth of cells in 3D. The Mimetix multiwell plate is designed to be easy to use and compatible with industry standard automated handling and imaging equipment. The synthetic scaffold, which is 50 microns thick, is laser-welded into the plate, and is available in a range of pore sizes. Mimetix has been validated with a number of primary cells and cell lines, including breast cancer cells and hepatocytes and supports highly consistent cell performance in 3D. For more information on the Mimetix multiwell plate click here.

The Electrospinning Company has supplied biodegradable, synthetic electrospun membranes to a team led by Professor Sheila MacNeil of the University of Sheffield, who are developing affordable corneal surface regeneration techniques in collaboration with experts in India. A publication in Biomaterials titled “Simplifying corneal surface regeneration using a biodegradable synthetic membrane and limbal tissue explants”, on which Dr Rob McKean is a co-author, describes how corneal cells have been successfully cultured on a synthetic sterilised biodegradable membrane either from cells isolated in a laboratory or from cells grown out from very small pieces of tissue. Specialist stem cells at the front of the eye have the job of keeping the cornea clear and scar-free. If someone loses the population of cells that renews this corneal epithelium, then surrounding scar type tissue grows over the eye with resulting loss of vision and pain. For some 15 years in a few specialist centres around the world it has been possible to take a small piece of tissue from the unaffected eye, expand these cells in a specialist laboratory, and then transplant these back to the damaged cornea on pieces of human donor amniotic membrane. This requires access to a well-run tissue bank to access the donor amniotic membrane, as well as access to clean rooms, specialist clean room staff to culture the cells, and considerable surgical skill. The Sheffield-India collaboration, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is aiming to simplify this technique to make it available to ophthalmic surgeons worldwide. There are ...

Research is receiving 4.2 Mio Euros from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme. The Electrospinning Company, Medicyte GmbH and the Universities of Manchester and Pisa launch a European wide unique project with the aim to design a biomimetic bioartificial liver (Re-Liver). The company GABO:mi ensures professional project management. Within the European Union, 6% of the population is suffering from chronic liver diseases. And although the liver is one of the best-studied organs in the human body, therapeutic approaches are often precluded. The scientists experienced several limitations for possible applications. On the one hand, suitable donor livers for solid organ transplant are in short supply and on the other hand, in-vitro and ex-vivo technologies for recapitulating liver function still fall short of reliability, consistency, and predictability. The aim of Re-Liver is to reconstitute a standardized and reproducible bioartificial liver organoid (BLO) using healthy human liver as an architectural and biomaterial template. According to the EMA criteria, the BLO is a cell-based medicinal product, a highly innovative and complex medicine. In addition to the Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP), new diagnostic tools and further products in cell-based applications will be developed and validated by the Re-Liver Consortium, made up of three industrial partners, all SMEs, focusing the commercialisation of market-leading products across Europe and further afield. The results of Re-Liver could be used for minimal invasive implantation to treat metabolic diseases, such as Haemophilia A, minimizing the transition from concept to clinic, and finally as an alternative for solid organ transplantation - giving new ...