is commercializing a new generation of in vitro systems for
advancing research and drug development. The disposable chips and supporting
perfusion hardware allow users to tissue engineer complex microenvironments of
small units of human tissues and organs.
Flexible Design for
Tissue-Engineering Complex Microenvironments
Nortis is commercializing disposable microfluidic chips and
supporting perfusion hardware. The chips are about half the size of a credit
card. Inside the chips, one can grow vascularized tissue-microenvironments by
seeding cells into tubular voids within extracellular matrix gels. The chip
design offers customers the flexibility to generate a variety of tissue
architectures, based on the cell types and matrix materials the user chooses.
Independent Perfusion of
Separate Biological Compartments
A key advantage over currently offered 3D in-vitro models is the ability to subject the tissues to fluid
flow. This flow supports tissue growth and development and allows test
compounds to be administered via the perfusate. In addition to lumenal
perfusion, the extralumenal tissue compartment can be perfused and used to
create gradients of growth factors or other physico-chemical
elements. Importantly, these biological
compartments are created by the cells or biological matrix, such that
cells/tissues do not contact any artificial scaffolds or materials.
Portable, Scales, and
Easy to Use
In addition to the chips, Nortis provides perfusion hardware in
the form of small, portable units that contain media reservoirs and waste
collection tubes. Each perfusion platform can support 3 chips and can easily be
moved between the cell culture incubator, laminar flow hood, and microscope
stage. Fluid flow is driven with pneumatic pressure.
The chips can be imaged using standard brightfield or fluorescence
microscopy in real-time or post fixation. For endpoint analysis, such as
histology, the tissues can be retrieved from the chips. Alternatively, the
tissues can be digested in the chip, and the resulting cell-suspensions
extracted for molecular analysis, flow cytometry, or subsequent cell culture.
The perfusion fluids can also be sampled upstream or downstream of the tissue
to measure metabolic end products or release of cytokines.