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We will collaborate in the definition and validation of the bioassays process, supporting in the design and specifications of the microfluidic chip. Innoprot will be in charge of generating disease models and validation of the device at end-user facilities environment scale. We will be responsible for Use case 4 validation. To this end, we will help in the design of a device for its use in cell culture and testing applications. Our main interest will be applications related with neuron activity (regeneration, protection, toxicity and drug screening for neurodegenerative diseases). Moreover, applications for other health related fields will be explored, i.e., migration, cell-cell communication.

Innoprot is a biotechnology company with extensive R&D component, and provides in vitro systems for drug discovery & development. The company is fully dedicated to custom screening services for biotech and pharma partners and offers customized assay development, HTS/HCA and hit-to-lead optimization services. Our company is a global supplier for human and animal cells from over 90 different cell types and recombinant cell lines for toxicology and screening. Many of our cell types can only be obtained from Innoprot and are not available from any other current provider in the world. We combine molecular and cell biology technologies and image analysis at cellular and sub-cellular levels, to obtain multiparametric data in order to speeding up the drug discovery. Regarding services provided, IPT offers tailored cell line development (fluorescent, stable or knockdown cell lines), DNA cloning service, protein expression, HCS toxicity assays.

Innoprot is involved in many activities of the WP7. Within this work package, we will develop a microfluidic device for cell-based assays. As a first approach, the chip will be optimized for neuron related experiments, but other cell types and assays will be also considered and tested. Innoprot will collaborate from the chip design phase, all the way down to the assay validation assay at lab scale. The chip will consist of separate chambers for cell cultivation, connected by microchannels. Innoprot will contribute setting up the specifications, testing materials and surface functionalizations of the chip in cell culture applications. In this sense, cell toxicity, proliferation and differentiation will be checked to decide which would be the preferred fabrication conditions and materials in terms of biocompatibility.

In a later stage, the chip will contain electrodes and Innoprot will validate the electrostimulation conditions and participate in the optimization of the protocols. In addition, we will validate the device for co-culture experiments. Innoprot will use these co-cultures in order to develop different disease models that would allow to understand how nervous system controls other cells and tissues. Detailed protocols for the different disease models generated in the project will be applied to real case scenario to validate the use of developed device in a laboratory environment. The goal is to generate a system for a faster and more effective screening-identification of molecules with therapeutics characteristics. By the end of this project, we expect to have a robust platform, suitable for HCS applications at the end-user facilities. This platform would meet the needs of any specific drug discovery project.