Zyoxel has world-leading expertise in the area of advanced cell culture techniques, facilitated through 3D perfused culture methods, and in the application of these technologies for drug discovery. Our vision is to equip pharmaceutical companies with more advanced in vitro tools making it possible to develop safer and more effective drugs for patients through the acquisition of human-relevant clinically-predictive preclinical data. Zyoxel’s current focus is in the provision of more advanced in vitro models to assess drug induced liver toxicity, a leading cause of drug failure in the clinic and drug withdrawals from the market. To this end Zyoxel has recently in-licenced LiverChip, a cell culture platform that can support highly physiologically relevant in vitro liver tissue models. The LiverChip technology was developed within Professor Linda Griffith's labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and Professor Griffith is retained by Zyoxel as a consultant and R&D programme collaborator. Zyoxel is now offering LiverChip products and contract services, and has several active development programmes to produce next generation platforms and applications. 3D cell culture is a rapidly developing scientific field which has the potential to revolutionise the drug discovery and regenerative medicine markets. Zyoxel's mission is to lead this revolution, through the provision of a toolbox of validated technologies and solutions for industry and the wider research community.
Products & Services
Zyoxel offers products and services based on its two proprietary cell culture platforms: LiverChip and TissueFlex®.
A multiwell plate platform enabling maintenance of 3D liver tissue cultures under constant perfusion. The liver is one of the most metabolically active and complex organs in the body and the principle site of drug metabolism. Predicting drug pharmacology and toxicology is particularly challenging in the context of the liver because it is so difficult to faithfully recapitulating hepatic tissue function in vitro.
LiverChip System: LiverChip provides for the first time in vitro liver cultures that capture the complexity of in vivo tissue and organ behaviour in a scalable easy-to-use format.
LiverChip Scaffold: At the heart of LiverChip is a scaffold whose dimensions have been engineered to recreate the capillary bed structure of the liver sinusoid. The LiverChip scaffold is housed within a specially designed plate which permits direct perfusion of the in vitro tissues.
LiverChip Perfusion Plate: The LiverChip plate contains twelve 'bioreactors', each comprising a culture well, containing the scaffold, a micropump and a reservoir. LiverChip plates are suitable for use within a standard lab incubator.
LiverChip Hardware LiverChip plates connect to a microcontroller and pump unit which fit onto the exterior of a standard lab incubator. The micropumps are powered by pressure/vacuum lines, which are then connected to each plate within the incubator.
LiverChip Consumable Our current LiverChip product range includes a consumable pack to be used each time a new culture is set-up. Each pack contains consumable items for one 12-well LiverChip plate: 12x scaffolds, filters and retaining rings; 1x polymer membrane - fits between the LiverChip culture plate and pneumatic dock. Training and protocols are provided to show how to dismantle and clean LiverChip plate between uses. Assembling a LiverChip plates with new consumable components takes just a few minutes.
A versatile platform for 3D perfused cell culture under microchemostat conditions. TissueFlex® is, an easy-to-use cell culture microbioreactor unit made entirely from a flexible biocompatible polymer. Each microbioreactor contains multiple for multi-sample cell culture and testing. TissueFlex has no integrated scaffold, so lends itself to models requiring more bespoke scaffold design, including hydrogels. Each well is individually perfused to provide a microchemostat environment favourable for tissue growth. TissueFlex® microbioreactors are currently available in 4-well and 10-well formats. The microbioreactors are used with a specially designed incubator and syringe pump to enable 3D perfused culture.
The TissueFlex® system comprises a moulded multi-well microbioreactor (1), which is used with a specially designed incubator (2) and syringe pump (3) to enable 3D perfused culture. An optional CO2 supply and control unit is available
TissueFlex® Microbioreactor TissueFlex® Microbioreactors are moulded multi-well units formed from a gas permeable biocompatible polymer. Microbioreactors are currently available in 4-well and 10-well formats. Each unit is supplied fitted with inlet and outlet tubing, perfusate reservoirs, and syringe connectors, for quick and easy set up.
TissueFlex® Incubator TissueFlex® Incubators use a removable heating block to house the TissueFlex® Microbioreactor for culturing 3D tissues. The TissueFlex® Incubator incorporates a PID controller for easy temperature selection, rapid heat up and excellent stability. TissueFlex® Incubators are optionally available with CO2 supply and control unit.
TissueFlex® Syringe Pump The TissueFlex® Syringe Pump features a 10 channel rack permitting controlled individual perfusion of 10 or more microbioreactor wells. Multiplexing permits up to 20 microbioreactor wells, or two 10-well microbioreactors, to be fed from a single syringe pump. Perfusion rates can be precisely controlled to provide a chemostat environment with minimal shear stress optimal for 3D cell culture.
Multiplexing for higher throughput : To achieve higher sample throughput it is straightforward to multiplex two TissueFlex® Incubator units, housing one microbioreactor per unit, to each TissueFlex® Syringe Pump. One CO2 controller can conveniently be used with two incubators.
Benefits of TissueFlex®
Optimised for 3D cell culture - permits study of cells in a more in vivo-like environment than standard 2D plate culture
Individually perfused, multi-well culture - microchemostat environment for parallel testing
Disposable microbioreactor - improves ease of use and reduces labour costs
Gas permeable biocompatible polymer microbioreactor - simplifies gas supply and control
Self-sealing microbioreactor - enables easy assembly and sampling
Automation - programmable hardware platform reduces labour costs
In situ monitoring - performed through transparent base of microbioreactor
Metabolite monitoring - through analysis of spent media
Versatile - tested on a wide range of scaffolds and cell types
CONTRACT RESEARCH SERVICES
Our fully equipped laboratory facilities in Oxford comprise cell culture and analytical suites for in vitro compound safety and efficacy testing. We are experienced in culturing a wide range of human and animal primary cells and cell lines within our proprietary cell culture platforms. Our main expertise is in the use of primary liver cells and cell lines cultured in our LiverChip and TissueFlex platforms for compound safety profiling and drug metabolism. Example studies we can deliver in these areas are listed below:
DRUG SAFETY PROFILING
Lethal and sub-lethal endpoint assays
High content screening
Drug transporter interactions
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