2008: the MediTrans European project challenged the CSEM SA into providing a double chamber microfluidic system for biological barrier modelling.
Alas, leaks, membrane breakage and radical protocol changes made the ceramic membrane useless to biologists.
The good news is cells were growing and developing on the membrane. The problem was packaging, ergonomics.
2009: Spending time with biologists to understand routine lab work routine pointed at Corning’s Transwell as the widely adopted solution to let biologists observe transport.
2010: A first generation machined stainless steel prototype made it possible to clamp and seal the silicon nitride membrane using an o-ring.
A 6-well plate solution made it possible to observe transport of 50nm nanoparticles. Electrodes on the membrane allowed direct TEER measurement.
2011: Validation with nano carriers for intestines (Caco-2), in partnership with Saarland University – Helmholtz Institute Saarbrücken (DE).
First patent filed “Clamping insert for cell culture” EP11174937.0.
2012: Validation on tumoral blood brain barrier smart carrier drug delivery and the Pathology CHUV department – UNIL (Lausanne, CH).
3D printed clamping prototype (non bio compatible) allows exploring injection molding clamping.
First patent filed in the US under US20130022500 A1
2013: Validation for lung cell co-cultures (A549, endothelium, dendritic cells and macrophages) with Adolphe Merkle Institute, UniFri, BioNanomaterials Department (Fribourg, CH)
First patent published in Europe under EP2548943
2015: SiMPLInext granted a total of 30K CHFso far in first two stages of VentureKick.
2nd Patent “Well inserts with brittle membranes” filed PCT/EP2015/060312.
Successful production of overmolded 12 well inserts.
Prix Neode 2015. Prix spécial du Jury, awarded to Silvia Angeloni for her project SiMPLInext (communiqué de presse).