March Newsletter

Launching our new PeptiKits; explore your PeptiGel® stiffness and functionality with confidence

The beauty with our peptide hydrogels, PeptiGels® is that their stiffness, charge and functionality can all be controlled independently to replicate native cellular environments to those of any human tissue. Consequently, and in response to customer feedback, we are delighted to launch our new Mechanical and Functional PeptiGel® Kits.

The Mechanical Kits offer three different stiffness’ of each of our PeptiGels® to enable you, for example, to match stiffness to different tissue types, control the behaviour and differentiation of stem cells, and also fine tune disease models for monitoring systematically the different stages of disease growth. The Functional PeptiGel® Kit incorporates biomimetic peptide sequences which act as biochemical cues that encourage cell attachment, and enhance interaction between the cell and the scaffold to optimise the response of cells in the 3D environment.

PeptiGels® have been demonstrated to be ideal 3D scaffolds across a range of cell types including, but not limited to, stem cell, liver, kidney, cancer, neuronal and endothelial cell lines. For more information to help you discover the ideal in vivo-like functionality for your cells’ needs, please Welcome to the Spring Manchester BIOGEL newsletter. Here you can find out what we’ve been up to recently, latest results and our plans for the coming months. click on our weblink www.manchesterbiogel.com or email us at info@manchesterbiogel.com.

PeptiGels® mimic healthy and tumour tissue properties

Recent results led from Dr Armando Del Rio Hernandez’s Cellular and Molecular Biomechanics Laboratory at Imperial College London, demonstrate that PepiGels® offer both the mechanical and biochemical tuneability necessary to recreate cancer tissues. It is well known that communication of cells with their environment is vital to understand intracellular processes, and this research area has been very dynamic in cell and cancer biology. Nowadays, available matrices to study those interactions have tuneable mechanical properties. However, the extracellular matrix (ECM) in tissues of different organs and cellular settings has very different chemical properties, such as ionic strength, charge, pH and ECM ligands.

The team at Imperial used PeptiGels® with tunable stiffness and varying pH to mimic a range between healthy and cancer tissues for both features. They found that stiff and acidic (cancer mimicking peptide gels) induced a biochemical response in Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Suit-2 cell line resulting in an increased proliferation. Armando is excited by this; he states that “this has opened up the potential to investigate details of mechanotransduction signalling pathways involved in cancer cell activation and survival.”

This work is being continued thanks to the award of an Innovate Knowledge Transfer Partnership Award (KTP 12102).

Report from 3DBioNet-IBIN joint meeting, London January 2020

In January we were delighted to exhibit and present at the joint meeting between two Technology Touching Lives initiatives; 3DBioNet and Integrated Biological Imaging Network in London. This meeting hosted over 100 academics, industrialists and various funding bodies to discuss the advancement, limitations and challenges in 3D cell culture. In our Industry Highlight presentation we showcased the latest published work using PeptiGels® led by Clinician Dr Adam Reid from The University of Manchester on the use of PeptiGels® for peripheral nerve repair [ https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201900410].

In addition, our very own Senior Scientist, Dammy, presented his work on the use of PeptiGels® in the development of liver organoids which started when he was a post-doctoral research scientist at Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research after he won a Collaboration Challenge grant from 3DBioNet. Consequently, Dammy used Manchester BIOGEL’s Starter Pack to test 5 different PeptiGel® formulations for the growth and propagation of hepatic cells and he found that PeptiGel® Alpha2 supported the quickest growth of fully formed organoids, which was notably quicker than MatrigelTM (see time-course images taken at x 10 magnification using an inverted optical microscope).

Alpha 2 also provided the most stable environment for prolonged study, lasting at least the one-month in culture explored. Dammy concluded that the PeptiGel® technology platform provides a reproducible and disease free ECM for the growth of 3D organoids, which in turn provide more reliable and physiologically relevant preclinical models for pharmacological and toxicology studies and personalized medicine.

If you are interested to find out more about the application of our hydrogel products, collaborative opportunities and our latest job vacancies please visit www.manchesterbiogel.com or email us at info@manchesterbiogel.com.

See us out and about starting with the Bionow Oncology Conference

The coming months are very exciting and prosperous for Manchester BIOGEL. It’s starting with the Bionow Oncology Conference at Alderley Park on the 19th March where we are thrilled to be one of the exhibitors. The event has attracted many leading experts to discuss the latest advances for early diagnosis and prevention of this treacherous disease.

Please do come and say hello if you’re attending the event, we’d love to hear about your research and to see if our fine-tuned, animal free PeptiGels® and PeptiInks® could benefit your work.

Alternatively you can keep up to date with our activities by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Get in touch

For more information about our technology, our products or how we can support your research please get in touch: