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The Avatar Difference

See how varying culture conditions can impact cell behavior
  • 1
    Tumor Biopsies

    Patient biopsies from pancreatic, lung, prostate, and breast cancers can be prepared using expert-backed protocols and reagents for ex vivo culture. In the example below, tumor cell colonies are derived from fine needle aspirates obtained from a pancreatic cancer patient

    Compound Screening

    Compound screening performed under culturing conditions mimicking the metastatic tumor microenvironment may lead to drug candidates relevant for late-stage cancer patients

    Liquid Biopsy

    15 mL of peripheral blood from a prostate cancer patient was processed using Xcell's Liquid Biopsy Protocol and reagents

    Human Stem Cells

    The Avatar system can be used to optimize stem cell maintenance and tune for stem cell fate

  • 2
    Tumor dissociation

    Using Xcell's proprietary enzymes and substrates, tumors are digested and prepared for culture in a standard incubator and in an Avatar bioreactor

    Drug Treatment

    Cell lines are treated with drug candidates and cultured in the Avatar platform and in a standard incubator

    Enriched CTCs

    CTCs are captured and enriched utilizing Xcell's proprietary collagen-based substrate and serum-free media

    Stem Cell Colonies

    Human pluripotent stem cell colonies were cultured using the Avatar system to demonstrate how oxygen and hydrostatic pressure can control stem cell fate in a minimally supportive cell culture media

  • Standard Incubator

    Primary cells often fail to propagate under conditions provided by a standard incubator. Viable cells exhibit non-native morphology and significantly altered gene expression profiles

    Standard Incubator

    Cell lines cultured in a standard incubator exhibit minimal cell death when treated with a drug candidate

    Standard Results

    Viable CTCs cultured with standard incubators failed to propagate

    Standard Incubator

    Human stem cells cultured in a standard incubator can uncontrollably and spontaneously differentiate, leading to changes in cell morphology and decreased expression of the stemness marker NANOG

  • 3
    Avatar™ Bioreactor

    Unlike traditional incubators, the Avatar bioreactor enables users to define physiologically relevant culturing conditions. For pancreatic cancer cells, 2% O2 and 1 PSI culturing conditions resulted in increased tumor colony formation

    Avatar Bioreactor

    The same cell line cultured under 5.0% O2 and 1.5 PSI exhibits increased sensitivity to the drug candidate - leading to increased cell death

    Avatar Results

    Implementation of Xcell's proprietary protocols and reagents resulted in viable and propagating CTC colonies after just 2 weeks when cultured in the Avatar bioreactor

    Avatar Bioreactor

    Stem cells cultured at 1.0% O2 and 2.0 PSI maintained their stemness, retaining their cell morphology and NANOG expression

  • MYCN
    800
    ACTN
    4811
    PD-L1
    45.4
    AMACR1
    1X
    NANOG
    1X

    The average expression of the MYCN gene is decreased for pancreatic tumor cells cultured in a traditional incubator

    Gene expression of the immunotherapeutic target PD-L1 is lower in cell lines cultured with a standard incubator, resulting in decreased cell sensitivity to the drug candidate

    Viable prostate CTCs cultured with a standard incubator show decreased expression of the neuroendocrine marker AMACR1

    Human stem cells cultured in a standard incubator show reduced expression of the stemness marker NANOG

  • MYCN
    3000
    ACTN
    4560
    PD-L1
    290.8
    AMACR1
    5.17X
    NANOG
    2.24X

    The average expression of MYCN is significantly increased in pancreatic tumor cells when hypoxia and pressure are applied to culturing conditions

    Gene expression of the drug target PD-L1 is upregulated in the cell line when cultured under conditions mimicking the tumor microenvironment, leading to increased drug sensitivity

    Propagating prostate CTCs cultured under 2.0% O2 and 2.0 PSI show increased expression of AMACR1, a metastasis marker

    Under low oxygen and high pressure culturing conditions, stem cells maintained higher expression of NANOG

  • Dissociated pancreatic tumor cells cultured with a traditional incubator exhibit slow colony formation and growth

    Compound screening performed on cell lines using standard culturing conditions may not accurately reflect in-vivo efficacy of the drug candidate

    Viable CTCs cultured with a standard incubator do not propagate, limiting their utility

    Consistent with reduced stem marker expression, stem cells in standard incubator culturing conditions show cell spreading and loss of colony morphology indicative of spontaneous differentiation

  • Primary pancreatic tumor cells cultured under hypoxic and pressurized conditions exhibit increased colony number and growth

    Drug screening assays performed under physiologically-relevant culturing conditions often lead to conflicting results when compared to screening assays cultured in traditional incubators

    Viable prostate CTCs enriched using Xcell's Liquid Biopsy Protocol result in proliferating CTC colonies that can be maintained in culture for several months

    By controlling oxygen and pressure levels during cell culture, human stem cells can be maintained in a stem-like state with nuclear Sox2 and compact colony morphology, even in minimally supportive culture media

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  • Conclusion

    The Avatar system overcomes limitations of traditional cell culture and delivers physiologically relevant results