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Device for developing in vitro cell cultures

3D cell culturesBV22Drug screeningheterogeneityModularitythree-dimensional connectivity


Device that allows the engineering of cell cultures for drug screening and for the study of the mechanisms underlying the onset of diseases. It addresses the needs of the in vitro diagnostic market by providing models closer to the pathophysiology of in vivo organs, reducing animal sacrifice, the costs and the time for validating a compound.

Technical features

To date, no in vitro diagnostic device simultaneously guarantees the four key parameters of the in vivo tissue microenvironment:

  1. Three-dimensionality of the tissue that guarantees the correct expression of the cellular phenotype;
  2. Modularity that allows to organize and simplify complex systems such as human tissues;
  3. Heterogeneity that ensures the interaction of different cell types at the basis of the correct functioning of the tissues;
  4. Three-dimensional connectivity that guarantees the correct and reciprocal modulation of the different cell types.

The invention, to date tested with different neurons (e.g. cortical, hippocampal, thalamic, etc.), allows the coexistence of these four key parameters. In fact, its geometry allows creating modular and heterogeneous models, and its peculiar architecture permits the definition of three-dimensional models. The most innovative element is given by the presence of a septum whose characteristics allow maintaining the segregation of cell bodies within their own area and ensuring the correct interaction of the aforementioned regions in three dimensions. This implies a structural and functional communication that leads to a more realistic mutual modulation of the different regions.

Possible Applications

  • IRCCS (Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare);
  • Research laboratories;
  • Pharmaceutical companies;
  • Diagnostic companies;
  • Cosmetic companies.


  • Growth of reliability standards in drug screening;
  • Reduction of drug failure at an advanced stage of the experimental process;
  • Reduction of animal sacrifice for in vivo tests and of correlated ethical issues;
  • Reduction of time needed for the validation of a drug;
  • Versatile and adaptable;
  • Cheap.