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Cellectricon Announces the Winner of the Cellaxess® ACE Project Grant

Cellectricon today announces the winner of the Cellaxess ACE project grant. The call was specifically for proposals utilizing the Cellaxess technology for delivery of non-genetic material to adherent cells and cultures. We are extremely happy with the great level of interest; we received a number of highly qualified applications.

The two selected projects are the following:

Applied Cell-based Research: Small Molecule Delivery using Electroporation for 3D Cell Culture Models

Hakim Djaballah, Director, HTS Core Facility, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA

We have taken an opportunistic view of searching for compounds which would selectively revert the 3D spheroid state into a vulnerable phenotype. For this purpose, we have developed simple 3D cell based assays scoring for formation and reversal. By accessing the Cellaxess ACE platform, we will push the delivery limits of compounds to the spheroids as a novel approach. This will enable us for the first time to address the pivotal question of chemical uptake across the whole spheroid rather than only the peripheral cells.

Basic Cell-Based Research: Intracellular delivery of Ca2+ channel peptides using the Cellaxess ACE platform

Gary Stephens, Director of Pharmacology, University of Reading School of Pharmacy, Reading, United Kingdom

Reliable delivery of therapeutic agents to intracellular sites of action is a significant barrier to the drug discovery process. Due to this problem, small hydrophilic molecules and, in particular, biological drugs such as peptides, often lack sufficient efficacy. We are investigating the modulation of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), proteins which are a hallmark characteristic of excitable cells. We have recently developed synthetic Ca2+ channel peptides based on CaV2.2 subunit intracellular amino-terminal and sites on the intracellular region connecting domains I and II. These CaV2.2 peptides act as inhibitory modules to decrease Ca2+ influx via direct effects on VGCC gating, ultimately leading to a reduction of synaptic transmission. This project will develop electroporation-assisted delivery of our CaV2.2 peptides using the Cellaxess ACE platform to examine modulatory effects in adherent neurons. This may lead to the introduction of efficacious therapeutic agents based on these peptides (or small molecules that mirror their actions) in areas such as pharmacoresistant pain states.

We congratulate Dr’s Djaballah and Stephens on winning, and look forward in supporting them in their efforts with the Cellaxess technology!

The Cellaxess® Capillary Electroporation Technology

Cellaxess represents a vast improvement of the classical electroporation procedure. The technology is based on the use of capillary electrodes to deliver electrical fields to adherent cells directly in culture. By placing the capillary electrode in close proximity to the cell culture surface, focused electric fields can be delivered to adherent cells in-situ directly in culture without joule heating or electrochemical toxicity. The result is a minimally invasive procedure which enables transfection with unsurpassed efficiency and viability. Cellaxess is ideal for the transfection of challenging cell types, such as primary- and iPSC-derived neuronal cell types.

Author: Johan Pihl
Johan Pihl has a PhD in physical chemistry from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and an MSc in analytical chemistry from Gothenburg University. Johan joined Cellectricon in 2005, and is currently the product manager for the Cellaxess platforms at Cellectricon.