Date：July 27 (Thursday)
CEO / CSO
Nathalie Maubon is a senior Biology R&D team manager and project leader. With a PhD in biology and 22 years of experience in pharmaceutical research (public research, pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology company), she is a specialist in the development and automation of robust in vitro cellular models for pre-clinical research in high-throughput screening (HCS, HTS, ADMET). She has also led R&D programs from hit finding to clinical drug candidates. She has held several positions from managing projects and general direction to managing teams and services. She decided to found HCS Pharma with the idea of improving in vitro cellular models by implementing 3D cellular models including all aspects of an organ: the cells but also their microenvironment.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is present in all tissues and is a master regulator of cellular behavior and phenotype: it influences the anchorage of the cells, acts as a migration barrier and track, signal reservoir, low-affinity co-receptor, signal presenter and is a source of biochemical forces. The ECM is tissue/organ specific and is characterized by a specific composition, and by biochemical and biophysical properties. Importantly, ECM features are modified in different types of disease, like cancers and fibrotic conditions. Given the importance of the matricial microenvironment in maintaining tissue homeostasis and proper intercellular communications, we aim at integrating the ECM parameter in in vitro models to better mimic the in vivo complexity.
For this purpose, we have developed 3D cellular models using BIOMIMESYS®, a patented green chemistry hydroscaffold™ for 3D cell culture. This matrix exhibits unique dual properties, unifying hydrogel and solid scaffold features in a single matrix. This highly reproducible matrix is suitable for long-term 3D cell culture. BIOMIMESYS® is based on Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a major component of the ECM, biofunctionalized with other ECM components (collagens, adhesion proteins or peptides) depending on the organ/tissue of interest. Moreover, the stiffness is also modulated to fit with the healthy or pathological ECM to reproduce (elastic modulus from 0.1 to 16 kPa).
In this presentation, we will exemplify the importance of the matricial environment in 3D cellular model for relevant high throughput phenotypic screening by using our 2 ImageXpress Micro Confocal systems from Molecular Devices (MDS), integrated into a fully equipated robotic platorm designed and integrated by MDS. We will also implify the importance of ECM for the improvement of cell longevity and functionality and the improvement of human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) differentiation into mature and functional 3D liver organoids within BIOMIMESYS®.
By better mimicking the ECM microenvironment, the next generation of 3D cell culture models should help to model in vivo complexity with more relevance, and therefore to discover new effective therapies against diseases like cancers. Our 3D in vitro models, by taking into account the matricial microenvironment, aim at highly improving phenotypic screening for a better prediction of human outcomes.
Keyword: Extra-Cellular Matrix, 3D cell culture, Phenotypic Screening, High Content Screening, HCS