Cytoo will later this month introduce its 2D+ cell culture platform and accompanying custom services, according to a company spokesperson.
Chloe Loiraud, community manager for the Grenoble, France-based company, told BioArray News that the new platform relies on the adhesion of cells in standard and custom micropatterns in 96-well plates to guide cell architecture and behavior in culture.
The firm claims the platform can control the spreading and three-dimensional shape of cultured cells in single- or multi-cellular configurations while avoiding the costs and technical limitations of 3D cell-based screens where cells are often embedded in gel matrices. It also addresses a "major concern" with traditional 2D culture, "in which cells spread and move in an uncontrolled manner, introducing a considerable but unnoticed variability in cell function," Loiraud said.
Cytoo's approach, by comparison, "results in control of cell contractility, cell polarity, organelle positioning, and cell division axis," she noted.
Cytoo's new 2D+ offering joins its menu of CytooChips at a time of ongoing catalog expansion.
CytooChips are 170-micrometer glass substrates covered with an organized grid of 144 micropattern arrays that provide 20,000 micropatterns. For high-throughput screening, the firm sells 96-well CytooPlates, each of which in total holds an array of more than 6,000 identical micropatterns. The company's chips and plates are imaged using its CytooChambers, which fit into standard microscope instruments.
In October, the company also introduced a microplate version of its CytooChips Motility product. Using the 2-cm-by-2-cm chips, or 96-well plates, users can track cell migration on one-dimensional adhesive lines and in two-dimensional areas on the same surface (BAN 10/23/2012 ).
As part of the rollout of the new 2D+ platform, Cytoo is also offering custom services. These include "exploratory" solutions "to guide customers through the initial exploration of the 2D+ technology," assay development to "select the best ecosystem for the requested cells," and screening to run small and medium screens, according to the firm.
Among the firm's exploratory solutions are its JunglePlates, a line of 2D+ plates that is designed to offer a wide range of ecosystems for each cell type, and to observe their behavior and function in a variety of microenvironment conditions and applications. According to Cytoo, its current range of JunglePlate environments include JunglePlate Phenotypes for general phenotyping of cells in terms of internal structure and function; JunglePlate Colonies specific for cells growing typically in colonies or multicellular structures; JunglePlate Myo, specific for myoblast/myotube fusion studies; and JunglePlate Neuro, for culture of neurons and neuron-like derivatives.
Cytoo claims that typical exploratory projects can be fulfilled in less than a month, with experimental work spanning a few days either at Cytoo or at the customer's site.
In terms of assay development services, Cytoo said its offering includes integrating the choice of cell line or biomarker with the best microenvironment geometry and adhesion protein.
The latter is an "iterative process, which involves custom pattern designs and layout to best elicit the targeted function or phenotype," according to the firm. In the final iteration, the customized 2D+ CytooPlates can be manufactured in large volumes to streamline into screening, the firm said.