DLOC partners with 42 Technology to develop ‘human-on-chip’ system

DLOC Biosystems (DLOC), a spin-out from the American University of Beirut, has appointed 42 Technology (42T) as a strategic product development partner to help bring its 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 last 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. But as a next step, the company plans to develop a fully automated ‘human-on-chip’ system to connect multiple chips of different tissue types together: to enable more practical and versatile modelling and determinations of tissues recapitulating in vivo organs.

As a result of this new partnership, 42T will now 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. The work is due to start within the next few months.

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 could 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.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.