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Drug Discovery

A superior drug screening tool

The success of cancer therapeutics is mainly relying on the toxicity and efficacy screening tests of drugs. However, the drug screening process faces the challenges of low predictability and of achieving results in a timely manner. The animal model is still the most reliable model so far to answer the question of whether a drug is effective in killing tumors with minimal damage to other organs. The animal model is not only expensive, but testing cycles are also long.

Traditional cell-based in-vitro tools are based on petri dishes yielding unreliable results because the cell performance on a flat surface cannot reflect the real cell growth environment in-vivo. The PepGel PGphArm system utilizes the PepGel platform’s technology with superior properties and features for various cell cultures or co-cultures in 3D microenvironments as well as organ cells or organoids in 3D. The PGphArm system provides a unique enabling tool for high-throughput drug screening processes.

The PGphArm system is designed to mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM), a 3D network matrix composed of fibrous matrix proteins that provides structural integrity for cell survival, with a system that can be safely handled under room conditions. The PGphArm system allows for mimicking of animal drug testing environments and for accurately evaluating cell or organoid resistance to drugs.

PGphArm has the necessary mechanical and rheological properties for high throughput processing. PGphArm is the home for cells;it is biocompatible, injectable, so-gel reversible by slight shearing force, makes for easy loading of drugs and compounds under room or body temperature, and is compatible with cell media, making it a superior microenvironment for human and animal cell cultures. Drugs can be easily loaded by two major methods:

  • Diffusion through the gel: drugs can be delivered to the cell’s living system (PGphArm gel system) by dispensing the drug solution into the cell culture media on top of the gel surface.
  • Pre-mix with PGphArm system: drugs can be premixed with the PGphArm gel solution and the cell suspension before gelation.

Drug discovery products

Relevant publications

  1. 3D h9e peptide hydrogel: An advanced three-dimensional cell culture system for anticancer prescreening of chemopreventive phenolic agents, Toxicology in Vitro 61 (2019) 104599.
  2. 3D-printing enabled micro-assembly of a microfluidic electroporation system for 3D tissue engineering, Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 2362.
  3. 3D cell culture stimulates the secretion of in vivo like exosomes, Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, 13012.
  4. Anticancer Drug Camptothecin Test in 3D Hydrogel Networks with HeLa cells, Scientific Reports 7, 01 February 2017.
  5. Controlled release of BSA-linked cisplatin through a PepGel self-assembling peptide nanofiber hydrogel scaffold, Amino Acids: The Forum for Amino Acid, Peptide and Protein Research, 29 May 2017.
  6. Design and Demonstration of a Pumpless 14 Compartment Microphysiological System, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 2213–2227.
  7. Mitigation of Tumor-Associated Fibroblast-Facilitated Head and Neck Cancer Progression With Anti–Hepatocyte Growth Factor Antibody Ficlatuzumab, JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015.
  8. Peptide Hydrogelation and Cell Encapsulation for 3D Culture of MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells, PLOS ONE, 2013, e59482. March 20, 2013