DLOC Biosystems (DLOC), a spin-out from the American University of Beirut, has appointed UK-based 42 Technology (42T) as a strategic product development partner to help bring its advanced 3D human-on-chip technology and fully-automated operating system to market.
The appointment follows a series of technical reviews and system design projects with 42T over the past 18 months that were specifically designed to help DLOC strengthen the patents protecting its core technology before starting its next phase of development.
DLOC’s existing microfluidic biochips, which include proprietary features such as ultrathin 3D porous scaffolds, are already being used to create accurate biomimetic models of mammary, pancreatic, renal and other ductal tissues. Next, the company plans to develop a fully-automated ‘human-on-chip’ system to connect multiple chips of different tissue types to enable more practical and versatile modelling. As a result of this new partnership, 42T will work alongside DLOC’s in-house engineering team on an 18-month phased development programme to design a prototype system that can be used to emulate the complete structure and function of ductal tissues and to monitor them in real time.
Commenting on the partnership, Waddah Malaeb, CEO and co-founder of DLOC said: “42 Technology is the ideal development partner to help boost the intensive system development programme that’s already ongoing within DLOC’s own laboratories and manufacturing facility, and with our university partners. The company’s engineering team is well known for its collaborative approach, as well as having significant expertise in areas such as microfluidics, high-precision mechanical engineering and system design.”
42T’s projects for this next phase will include optimising the design of DLOC biochips for high-volume manufacture, developing the design for a prototype ‘human-on-chip’ system, and developing and integrating some key subsystems. The work will also potentially help DLOC file additional patents to further protect its latest design and technology breakthroughs.
DLOC’s vision is to develop a compact and modular ‘human-on-chip’ system that will also be the world’s first to integrate interconnected modular organs with real-time measurement using in-built spectrophotometry and microscopy. The new system will enable DLOC to launch a pre-clinical trials-on-chip testing service for pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations, the aim being to reduce the cost of drug development while increasing the safety of human trials.