Composition and method for storing and transporting in vitro cell cultures. V-GUM

  • Fabian from Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)
  • From Luxembourg
  • Responsive
  • Innovative Products and Technologies

Summary of the technology

Our technology is based on the use of compounds (a thermo-reversible gelling biopolymer- cation reactive) and a thickening agent (cation inert) from plant or microbial origin and non-cytotoxic (GRAS polysaccharides). The final hydrogel has a Tgel, onset < 30°C and Tmel, onset < 37°C. The gelation process is physical (non-covalent bond) driven. The hydrogel is stiff and elastic enough to remain attached to the Transwell TM /cell support. The hydrogel could be completely detached from the surface of the Transwell TM insert on molten state.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

Details of the Technology Offer


Long distance shipping of well-established in vitro models (based on cell lines, primary cells etc.) is always challenging due to the sensitivity of those systems. Cells are normally cultured in liquid medium that does not represent the best matrix for the shipment. Replacement with something else sufficiently solid and stiff to remain attached to the culture support upon flipping over while providing slow diffusion of the nutrients and ensuring the survival of the cells would be more suitable.

Currently there is a lack in the existing portfolio of products and methods to prepare a cell transporting hydrogel substrate with the following characteristics:

1) multiple thermo-reversible gelling capacity

2) reduced gel-sol/sol-gel incubation time (compatible with the timeframe of the model’s


3) animal-free origin


The technology developed at LIST represent a suitable solution to replace the existing semi-solid media for cell cultures. The blend of powder compounds with gelation properties, 100% animal-free, has shown good mechanical and chemical properties.

The developed method is faster than existing solutions, making the suggested protocol competitive for our purposes and compatible with the timeframe of the model’s construction already developed at LIST.

Preliminary studies on cell viability and inflammation showed that the final semi-solid medium is suitable for cell transport and storage of cells allowing further exploitation of the in vitro models previously developed in house.


The technology is suitable for transporting and storing cell cultures preserving the properties of the in vitro model. This allow fast and easy exchange of already established in vitro systems among different institutions that are not familiar with the preparation of those biological models (or which doesn’t want to upgrade their facilities to do it) ensuring reproducibility of results among different labs.

PMI and VITO are two different institutions that can be interested in buying ready-to-use in vitro models representative for the alveolar region (like those we have in house) to do the testing of chemicals in their own laboratories. The opportunity to deliver our in vitro models ensuring the maintenance of a good performance after shipment could increase our chances to be selected as trusted providers by them as well as by other subjects.

The product (gelling agent), used coupled with animal derivates, could have a general application while the version “100% animal free derivatives” is specifically targeting institutions working in the field of “animal free research”.


We are evaluating the possibility of launching a product line based on the invention and to further reinforce it with the work done within the collaboration with PISC. The development of a 100% animal-free product would enlarge the opportunities of collaboration with those institutions supporting and promoting the 3R principles.

IP Status:A patent has been filed and extended internationally.

Desired business relationship

Technology development


Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Stem cell Technologies
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Technology
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Technology
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Stem cells and biobanks
  • In-vitro diagnostics

About Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a mission-driven Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT.
LIST develops competitive and market-oriented product/service prototypes for public and private stakeholders, and works across the entire innovation chain: fundamental/applied research, incubation, transfer of technologies.
By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.

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Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

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