CANCER CELLS IN VIVO proliferate to form tumors through impressive reciprocity with their microenvironment: cells communicate with each other and with the extracellular matrix dynamically via junctions, receptors, hormones, biomolecules and other soluble factors.
It is this mutual interchange of information between cancer cells and their surroundings that guides tumorigenesis during development and permits the functional organization of cells into tumors.
PREDICTIVE CELLULAR ASSAYS yield data that are representative of clinical biology. This is the basis for all cell-based assays developed at QGel. QGel assays are physiologically-relevant because they:
With client defined cell-types, targets and disease features, QGel custom-designs hydrogel matrix products based on the right selection of biological, biophysical and biochemical components inspired by the relevant ECM.
The final product is a unique QGel® formulation in either Vial format (for bench work) or Assay Kit format (for high throughput screening), designed for the seamless transfer to client laboratories. Each assay is fully compatible with standard laboratory equipment and automation systems. Our goal is to equip each client with the tools necessary (QGel Products and protocols) to run their own drug testing campaigns in-house. We ensure that all data is highly reproducible and we offer full customer support and training as we transfer the assay to our clients facilities.
CLINIC. The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a key role in disease progression. The TME contains a myriad of promotional forces that influence cell signaling, target expression and ultimately tumor growth. In order to increase predictive power earlier in drug development, in vitro screening campaigns need to account for these complexities.
QGEL. QGel’s approach is to design a TME using our hydrogel technology to support both clonogenic tumor growth as well as the expression of specific physiologic features that are of interest to our client. No other in vitro system exists that models for the complexities of the microenvironment.
QGel has a library of existing formulations for a wide variety of cell lines ready to order off the shelf now. Each product comes with the necessary protocols to start your experiments today. Our catalog of cell specific formulations is growing every month.
The WEBSHOP can be browsed to identify existing formulations by cell-line, organ type, or research use.
QGel also has MATRIX ID SCREENING KITS available for researchers to identify their own synthetic ECM.
If you are unable to find the formulation for your particular cell line, please contact us to inquire about us identifying one for you. The process for this is described in the next section.
Designing customized ECMs starts with client collaboration to identify the cell types and desired target features of interest. QGel then screens its library of microenvironment components to find the formulation that best satisfies the objectives of the assay.
Many combinations of the following parameters are tested: Gel stiffness (from soft to hard), degradability (from highly degradable to non-degradable), binding sites (with integrin binding sites vs. none), growth factors and media conditions.
Once we identify a hit formulation and present the data/outcome to our clients, we then transfer the assay to client facilities. We manufacture QGel® Products in any quantity required by the client in either Vial format (for bench work) or Assay Kit format (for high throughput screening). All assays are compatible with standard lab screening equipment and downstream analytical equipment.
Unique, reproducible and defined.
QGel matrix formulation is produced for consistent and natural target-expression.
No special environment constraints.
Encapsulate cells at room temperature with standard liquid-handling devices.
No interference from QGel matrix.
Suitable for testing small-molecules and biologics e.g. antibodies.
Flexible Packaging Formats.
Formulations can be packaged in either Vial Format for use on the bench, or in Assay Kit format which is compatible with any standard liquid handling robot.
QGEL® PRODUCTS are designed for the seamless transfer to our client laboratories. Functionalized QGel® Assays and protocols are compatible with standard laboratory equipment and automation workflows and are highly reproducible.
QGel® Products are stable and have a shelf-life of 5 years under correct storage conditions, and can be re-ordered as needed in any quantity.
QGEL® ASSAY PRODUCTS INCLUDE validated protocols for cell encapsulation, screening, readouts and drug testing. QGel also provides hands-on support to ensure the successful integration of QGel Assay Kits at client facilities.
CLIENTS HAVE FULL CONTROL of assay workflows once QGel® Products have been integrated at our client’s site. Since QGel products are compatible with standard lab equipment and automation systems, clients are independent for drug testing and downstream analysis with their own facilities.
Lung cancer and the microenvironment
Factors in the microenvironment effect cell behavior
Expression of complex drug targets
Expression of ETRs by LN229 is microenvironment-
-dependent and happens at specific point
Hyponia in different tumor
Target experssion happens at unique timepoints that affect drug scheduling
QGel ECM vs. convencionel assay technologies
Target expression in QGel could not be accomplished with conventionel assays