3D Matrix
An artificially-created biomimetic environment in which biological cells are permitted to grow or interact with their surroundings in all three dimensions

3D Model
A three dimensional reproduction of an animate or inanimate object (e.g., organ or tumour).

Artificial Extracellular Matrix (aECM)
An Artificial Extracellular Matrix is a synthetically made, biologically active extracellular matrix that has been produced by assembling the necessary organic chemical synthesis of naturally occurring biomolecules, such as proteins, peptides and biopolymers for a specific cell or tissue type.

Assay
An investigative procedure which measures specific characteristics of the parts that form an entity.

Biobank
A repository of bio specimens (blood, saliva, plasma, DNA, etc.) to be used in research.

Cell lines
A population of cells all descending from a unique and original one. They present the same genetic make-up.
Clinical Relevance
A disease model that mimics the complexities of the human situation, outside the human body, so that tests can be preformed and provide an accurate estimation of what effect the experiment would have on the human body.
Synonym: Physiological Relevance

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutic agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent (which almost always involves combinations of drugs), or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms (palliative chemotherapy).
Chemotherapy is one of the major categories of the medical discipline specifically devoted to pharmacotherapy for cancer, which is called medical oncology.

Digital Health
Digital health is the convergence of digital technologies with health, healthcare, living, and society to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicines more personalized and precise.

Drug Assay
A drug assay is an investigative (analytic) procedure in laboratory medicine, pharmacology for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence, amount, or functional activity of a compound or drug (the analyte).

Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
In biology, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules, such as collagen, enzymes, and glycoproteins, that provide structural and biochemical support of surrounding cells. Because multicellularity evolved independently in different multicellular lineages, the composition of ECM varies between multicellular structures; however, cell adhesion, cell-to-cell communication and differentiation are common functions of the ECM

Ex vivo
Ex vivo (Latin: “out of the living”) means that which takes place outside an organism. In science, ex vivo refers to experimentation or measurements done in or on tissue from an organism in an external environment with minimal alteration of natural conditions. Ex vivo conditions allow experimentation on an organism’s cells or tissues under more controlled conditions than is possible in in vivo experiments (in the intact organism), at the expense of altering the “natural” environment.

Ex vivo vs. In vitro
The term ex vivo means that the samples to be tested have been extracted from the organism.
The term in vitro (“within the glass”) means the samples to be tested are obtained from a repository, in the case of cancer cells a strain that would produce favorable results, then grown to produce a control sample and the number of samples required for the number of tests.
These two terms are not synonymous even though the testing in both cases is “within the glass”. The results of ex vivo only apply to the organism supplying the cell whereas the in vitro results only apply to the cell line used.

Functional Precision Cancer Medicine
Functional precision cancer medicine involves exposing a cancer drug directly to patient cells ex vivo and to observe whether the patient cancer respond to the treatment by assessing whether tumors shrink or whether they are eradicated.
Testing drug response directly on patient-derived cancer organoids is an example of functional cancer precision medicine.

GEMM (Genetically engineered mouse models)
A mouse that has had its genome altered by genetic engineering techniques.

Genomics
Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.

Genomics Precision Cancer Medicine
Data from the patient’s genetic content obtained through DNA Sequencing or NGS are employed computationally for selecting therapies based on digital health data that links historical results to a population of cases that have been successful for a proportion of cases with particular genetic profiles.

In vitro
In vitro (Latin: “in the glass”) studies are performed with microorganisms, cells, or biological molecules outside their normal biological context. Colloquially called “test-tube experiments”, these studies in biology and its subdisciplines are traditionally done in labware such as test tubes, flasks, Petri dishes, and microtiter plates. Studies conducted using components of an organism that have been isolated from their usual biological surroundings permit a more detailed or more convenient analysis than can be done with whole organisms; however, results obtained from in vitro experiments may not fully or accurately predict the effects on a whole organism. In contrast to in vitro experiments, in vivo studies are those conducted in animals, including humans, and whole plants

In vivo
A natural and living experimental environment such as animals including humans, or plants.

Microenvironment
A small, distinctly specialized and effectively isolated biophysical environment, particularily surrounding cancer growth.

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) or DNA Sequencing
DNA sequencing is the process of determining the accurate order of nucleotides along chromosomes and genomes. It includes any method or technology that is used to determine the order of the four bases—adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine—in a strand of DNA. The advent of rapid DNA sequencing methods has greatly accelerated biological and medical research and discovery.
Medical technicians may sequence genes (or, theoretically, full genomes) from patients to determine the risk of cancer or other genetic diseases.

Organoids
An organoid is a miniaturized and simplified version of an organ produced in vitro in three dimensions that shows realistic micro-anatomy.  There are different techniques to grow organoids. With a business focus on Cancer, QGel establishes its patient cancer organoids directly from biopsies of patient tumors.

Oncology
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Patient derived cells
Cells obtained directly from a patient, often heterogeneous in nature that accurately represent the original disease/organ features and function of the patient.

Patient derived organoid (PDO)
An organoid grown from patient derived health or cancerous cells that accurately represents the in vivo characteristics of the patient’s biology. Cells in an organoid are heterogeneous representing the complexity of the disease.

Patient derived xenograft (PDX)
A PDX is obtained when tissue or cells from a patient’s primary tumour is implanted directly into an immunodeficient mouse subcutaneously to grow and study the cancerous cells in a representative in vivo environment.

PEG (polyethylene glycol) Gels
Polyethylene glycol is one of the most widely used synthetic materials for biomedical applications. Its biocompatibility, flexibility, and „stealth‟ properties make it ideal for use in many applications, including for cell culture system, drug delivery applications and regenerative medicine.

Precision Medicine (or Personalized Medicine)
The essential job of precision medicine is to match the right drugs to the right patients.
Precision Medicine is an approach to Personalized Medicine where diagnostic testing is often employed for selecting appropriate and optimal therapies based on the context of a patient’s genetic content or other molecular or cellular analysis. Tools employed in precision medicine can include molecular diagnostics, imaging, and analytics.
In Oncology, the identification of treatment(s) that will best decrease tumor size or eradicate a patient’s cancer by using methods to match an individual patient with the medicines that are best for them.

Primary cells
Cells that have been taken directly from a living tissue. They can be diverse and have not been modified in any way. Primary cells are often impossible, or very difficult to grow in vitro.

Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine represents a new paradigm in human health, with the potential to resolve unmet medical needs by addressing the underlying causes of disease.
(Referring to http://alliancerm.org/page/industry-snapshot): Synthetic materials, biomaterials and scaffolds are the cornerstones of the regenerative medicine field. They work in partnership with native cells to support reconstruction and healing. Companies are increasingly learning to leverage the use of stem cells and/or living tissue constructs (like primary cells) to create in-vitro models to study human mechanisms of disease and the effects of drugs on a variety of cell and tissue types.

Synthetic Extracellular Matrix (Synthetic ECM or sECM)
An engineered tissue environment which recapitulates certain features that is normally only secreted by a cell. An ACM tricks cells into behaving naturally since the ACM sufficiently provides structural, biological and biochemical support for cells as its characteristics set those of the tissue.

Synthetic hydrogel
Synthetic hydrogels are polymeric materials, which are capable of holding large amounts of water in their three-dimensional networks. This ability makes them an ideal class of materials for biomedical applications, such as drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Tumoroid
An organoid based on patient-derived tumor cells.

Tunable ECMs
Have fully defined biochemical, biophysical and biological characteristics. Tunable ECMs are functionalized with synthetic components including small and large peptides, small molecules, degradable linkers, and stiffness parameters. The are reproducible by nature and can be scaled for industrial processes.  Their synthetic nature make them amenable to clinical programs as they more easily meet the regulatory requirements than natural ECMs.

Xenograft
A graft obtained from a member of one species and transplanted to a member of another species.