Primary Cell Assays

Reducing development risks and increasing the probability of success are key to any project we are supporting. For this reason, we focus on the translational value of models early on in the process. Primary cells or tissues obtained from human donors or animals are thus integral and vital parts of drug discovery and profiling programs.

In addition to immortalized or transformed cell lines, we provide induced pluripotent stem cell-derived and primary cell models. We have access to a broad portfolio of these assays, reflecting a multitude of disease paradigms in various therapeutic areas, covering, for instance, fibrosis, metabolic disorders, and tissue regeneration.

Cells may be derived from healthy donors or from patients who have the disease of interest. In addition to fibroblasts from different tissues, endothelial cells, and hepatocytes, we purify specific immune cells from peripheral blood or provide ex vivo whole blood assays. Furthermore, we use mouse- and rat-derived complex tissues for ex vivo disease modeling.

Please inquire about your specific project needs.

Examples of primary cell assays:

  • Fibrosis-induction assay in primary human fibroblasts of diverse origin: αSMA, CTGF, periostin, etc. activation on RNA and protein level
  • Scratch (migration) assay in primary human fibroblasts, primary smooth muscle cells: automated scratch IncuCyte® real-time imaging and analysis
  • Primary human endothelial cells (EC)
    • Impedance-based EC permeability assay for endothelial dysfunction
    • Transendothelial migration (TEM) assay
    • Angiogenesis/tube formation assay
    • Migration
  • In the field of immune cells and inflammation, we offer a broad range of immune cell assays based on isolated human immune cell populations, as well as ex vivo whole blood, for inflammation and immune-oncology research. Examples include
    • Immune cell differentiation (e.g. Treg, Th17, monocytes, macrophages)
    • Cytokine production and profiling
    • FACS profiling
    • Immune cell metabolism
    • Phagocytosis
    • Oxidative burst
    • Mixed lymphocyte reaction
    • Cell killing
    • Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC)

Precision-Cut Tissue Slices

In vivo models are invaluable tools for investigating drug compound efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and safety. However, beyond ethical constraints, animal experiments are often tightly regulated, time consuming, and more expensive than alternative or complementary methods. Precision-cut tissue slices (PCTS) represents a technology that bridges the in vivo and in vitro realms. PCTS are obtained from usually healthy animals and preserve the organ complexity in cell culture conditions. Disease phenotypes, such as fibrosis in liver slices, can be induced and treated ex vivo. This gives the opportunity to take an early approach to the antifibrotic activity of a compound and provides potential proof of principle in an elegant, PK-independent manner. Fibrosis markers can be measured over time based on means of RT-PCR, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or histology.

Ex vivo precision-cut liver slices—TGF-β pathway, fibrosis

Example setup and results of a precision-cut liver slice fibrosis assay