Nov 21 2016
Report of clinically relevant 3D culture of patient-derived cells for intestinal and colorectal organoids in fully defined hydrogel matrices based on QGel technology
Nature, the leading weekly international scientific journal, yesterday reported the first intestinal and colorectal cancer organoid culture in fully defined extra cellular matrices (ECM). In an article entitled “Designer matrices for intestinal stem cells and organoid culture”, QGel's proprietary technology was used to modulate synthetic hydrogel networks to support organoid formation.
Until now, industrial organoid applications have been severely hampered due to the exclusive dependence of organoid technology on animal-derived hydrogels, including Matrigel and collagen. With QGel's designer matrices, fully defined organoid hydrogels can be manufactured on a scale suitable for industrial applications, that will finally open the gateway to harnessing the full potential of organoids in research and therapy in the near future.
Co-authored, among other leading scientists, by organoid specialist Hans Clevers from the Hubrecht Institute and University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and QGel co-founder and Board Member Matthias Lütolf from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, the article highlights how QGel technology enables the use of organoids as clinically relevant models for therapy development, including for patient-specific epithelial disease, such as cancer. This discovery overcomes multiple limitations of current organoid cultures and greatly expands their applicability in basic and clinical research when combined with QGel's industrial ability to scale.
Using intestinal stem cells and patient colorectal cancer cells, scientists publishing in Nature successfully defined key extracellular matrix (ECM) parameters that govern organoid formation. They have shown that separate stages of the process require different mechanical environments and components of the ECM, such as derivatives of fibronectin and laminin. By exploiting QGel's proprietary technology to modulate synthetic hydrogel networks scientists were able to define formulations for successful and reproducible organoid formation.
QGel CEO and co-founder Colin Sanctuary commented:
Organoid potential has not yet been exploited largely because of the dependence of organoids on non-scalable, animal-derived matrices. The ground-breaking results presented in Nature highlight the potential of fully defined matrices. Over the last 6 years, QGel has developed manufacturing capabilities to ensure industrial supply of high quality hydrogels, which are compatible with standard automated workflows. Having solved this bottleneck of scalability, QGel will empower pharmaceutical and biotech companies to exploit organoids to transform how we study diseases such as cancer and guide the development of new therapies for the millions living with and affected by cancer worldwide.