Founded in 2016, SUN bioscience has developed a solution for the industrial and automated production of organoids. The Tech Growth loan granted by the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) will allow the start-up to further scale and industrialize its product and hire additional staff.
In pharmaceutical research scientists culture cells and observe their interactions. One way of doing this is by using two-dimensional systems, known as static systems. With the use of two-dimensional plastic dishes, the cells only behave in a 2D field, which makes it easier to control the environment but does not reflect the reality of human cell interactions. 3D cell culture systems have been developed to recreate the environment present in the human body and thereby provide a framework for cells to form structures called spheroids in which they can interact with each other. Various media exist for 3D culture such as sponges, gels or plastic bases, however, all of these systems fail to provide high throughput and scalability.
In order to guarantee the integrity of the cultures, SUN bioscience has relied on organoids to facilitate 3D cultures. Organoids are three-dimensional multicellular structures that reproduce in vitro the micro-anatomy of an organ, i.e. a mini-organ. Cultivated from human derived stem cells, they have enormous potential for studying interactions with pathogens or for deciphering physiological processes. The start-up is the first to produce organoids industrially and automatically on 96-well culture plates. Its device can be inserted directly in standard workflow processes of pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the composition of the hydrogel in which the organoids will grow, the culture method and the culture plates are new and entirely developed by the start-up.