Tecan is collaborating with tissue engineering researchers at the University of Zurich to develop an automated system for propagation of quality controlled cells that will be suitable for use in regenerative medicine therapies, such as intervertebral disc implants. The project is funded by the CTI, the Swiss Confederation’s innovation promotion agency.
Tecan’s new solution will control all necessary cell culture steps, including the isolation, seeding, proliferation, harvesting and analysis of cell lines and primary cells. Quality control will be maintained through two integrated detection devices that will determine the degree of cell confluence and detect the expression of cell type-specific genetic markers.
“I’m convinced that regenerative medicine through tissue engineering will become a clinical reality, but to reach our goals we urgently need automated cell culture systems focused on repeatability, robustness and data traceability,” said Prof Norbert Boos, Head of Spinal Surgery at the Orthopaedic University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zurich.
“For example, cell-based nuclear replacement of the intervertebral disc seems a feasible and minimally invasive treatment for discogenic back pain, but the approach will not succeed without highly sensitized, automated tissue culture. We are certain that Tecan has the know-how and the infrastructure to achieve our goals and we have had an excellent partnership so far,”
The platform will be easily adjusted for culture of multiple cell types, providing standardized and affordable treatment procedures for regenerative medicine.