The new platform fuses imec’s multi-electrode array (MEA)-chip with a microfluidic well plate, that has been developed in collaboration with Micronit Microtechnologies. The module allows cells to be cultured in an environment that mimics human physiology. Capable of performing multiple tests in parallel, the new device offers high quality data in the drug development process.
The reason that drug development is so time-consuming and costly is because existing methodologies for drug screening assays are inefficient, being based on poor cell models that limit the quality of the resulting data, and result in inadequate biological relevance. Additionally, the lack of spatial resolution of assays results in the inability to screen single cells in a cell culture.
Imec’s solution features 16,384 electrodes, that are distributed over 16 wells for multiparametric analysis. Each of the 1,024 electrodes in a well can detect intracellular action potentials, aside from the traditional extracellular signals. The chip is patterned with microstructures to allow for a structured cell growth mimicking a specific organ.
Imec’s MEA chip was developed in collaboration with Micronit Microtechnologies in the InForMed project, funded by the ECSEL Joint-undertaking (ECSEL2014-2-662155).