BioSurfaces Receives $1.72 Million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct Phase II Grant from National Institutes of Health
Company to Advance Tissue Model Development for Its In Vitro Research Tools (IVRT) Product Line
Ashland, MA – June 1, 2023— BioSurfaces is pleased to announce that the company has received an SBIR Direct Phase II grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the 27 institutes and centers comprising the National Institutes of Health. Tissue culture insert scaffold technology has not significantly advanced in nearly 30 years. The current substrates (membranes) are two-dimensional and are excessively stiff and rigid compared to the human body’s natural scaffold. Additionally, these film-based membranes are an unnatural barrier that limits or alters penetration of chemicals, nanomaterials and cells. This two-year, $1.72 million grant is focused on developing and commercializing the company’s novel electrospun scaffold (Bio-Spun™) for tissue culture inserts for organotypic culture models that have improved physiological relevance and functionality compared to currently available models. Tissue models produced on the scaffolds will be characterized and validated in terms of barrier function, morphological appearance and function, cell penetration/migration and toxicity response to reference chemicals by collaborators from the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS).
Dr. Patrick Hayden, Vice President of Innovative Research at BioSurfaces and Principal Investigator on the SBIR Direct Phase II grant stated, “We’re really excited to receive this funding from NIEHS. It will allow us to significantly advance our IVRT product line and produce advanced next generation full-thickness in vitro tissue models that will overcome many of the limitations of existing models.”
IIVS’s Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Holger Behrsing, is excited to play a role in characterizing promising new technologies that have the ability to advance pulmonary test systems. “The Biosurfaces approach uses coupling electrospun substrate technology with the highly relevant reconstructed airway epithelium models to present an opportunity to challenge and evaluate such tissues in an unprecedented manner. We look forward to evaluating the properties of these tissues for improvements to demonstrate their utility in the field of respiratory toxicology and to help advance New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for safety and efficacy testing.”
“Our Bio-Spun™ technology incorporates our mastery of the intersection between biology and a synthetic cellular matrix designed to resemble closely the body’s own cellular scaffold, the extracellular matrix,” said Matthew Phaneuf, President and CTO of BioSurfaces. “Our scaffold can be used to create various human-relevant tissue models, potentially eliminating the need for animal testing in areas such as drug screening and cosmetic products. Commercial products that will result from this program include individual inserts as well as 24- and 96-well high throughput screening plates that will be marketed as stand-alone products. Researchers can use these products with their own cells and media or they can purchase tissue model kits for producing human alveolar, bronchial and skin models that will include scaffold inserts or HTP Transwell® plates together with pre-qualified cells, culture medium and production protocols.”
About BioSurfaces (www.biosurfaces.us)
BioSurfaces, based in Ashland, Massachusetts, is a life science company with deep leadership and a diverse team of specialists. The company’s Bio-Spun™ technology creates product solutions by engineering biology with synthetic cellular matrices for applications ranging from IVRT and delivery of bio-active therapeutics to medical devices and consumer health products. These materials can be made to form a variety of unusual and difficult-to-manufacture shapes while also demonstrating improved biocompatibility over other textile-based materials. The BioSurfaces manufacturing process also allows the incorporation of drugs or other bioactive agents directly into the nanofibers for localized release. BioSurfaces’ technology is validated by leading organizations in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, life sciences, and consumer products.
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About Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS)(https://iivs.org/)
The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. is a non-profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the advancement of New Approach Methodologies, including in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide. Founded in 1997, the Institute is unique in its position as a high-quality testing laboratory while also offering technical and educational resources to advance the field. The vision of IIVS is a day when methods based on humane, human-specific responses will be used by industry and regulatory agencies to determine the safety and efficacy of substances. IIVS staff work daily to increase the use and acceptance of non-animal testing worldwide.
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