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Promega Corporation

Dr. Jens M. Kelm

Assaying organotypic 3D microtissue models


To gain the full benefit of in-vitro cell biology, current cell monolayer models routinely used in drug discovery, have been further developed towards more physiologic systems. Novel, spherical 3D microtissues mimic the microenvironment, cellular composition and 3D structure of organs more closely and can be seamlessly integrated into established automated cell-based-assay workflows. Various cell sources can be applied which makes them a valuable tool not only for drug discovery but also for preclinical development.

This presentation will address how commercially available biochemical and Luciferase-based (NanoLuc) assays can be used to implement robust assays for safety and efficacy studies. Safety examples will be shown using primary rat and human liver 3D microtissues that reflect liver cell composition and include non-parenchymal cells. The overview is complemented by examples of efficacy testing using single and multi-cell type tumor microtissue reflecting more closely the avascular tumor xenograft.

Dr. Jens M. Kelm graduated in Biotechnology at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. After completing the PhD studies (“Design of artificial microtissues”) at the Institute of Biotechnology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, he joined the Division of Regenerative Medicine Department of Surgical Research, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland as Research Associate. Dr. Kelm became the Head of Microscale Tissue Engineering Group, Competence Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, University of Zurich. Has a long-term experience in the design and production of various scaffold-free microtissue models, with a portfolio of more than 15 microtissue types developed and characterized. Since March 2009, Dr. Kelm is Co-founder and chief scientific officer at InSphero AG, Zurich.

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