You control your cells.
Not the other way around.

The AVATAR™ Cell Control System lets you generate your cells of interest in a microenvironment array and optimize to a growth rate, functional activity or phenotypic change of interest. You’ll also be able to transfect cells with better efficiency, expand them faster and derive just the cells you need, exactly when you need them.

  • Increase transfection efficiency up to 5X with high cell viability — even with difficult to transfect cells
  • Expand challenging cell types easily and reproducibly for a broad range of primary cells — and cut reagent costs in the process
  • Target the cell population you want — tune your cell’s microenvironment to control differentiation or maintain current state reliably and precisely
  • Work with immune cells, stem cells, tumor cells, organoids and even rare, precious cells you’ve never been able to expand before.

Fine-tune culture settings to meet your cell’s needs


Fine-tune key physiological conditions — pressure, O2, CO2 and temp — to tailor phenotype


Grow cells consistently every time, and get it done in a shorter window


Use your cells with our optimized protocols and xeno-free media for a ready to go solution


Validate specific gene, protein, and metabolic profiles for more accurate assay development


Recover cell viability after thawing frozen samples and post-transfection with optimal culture conditions

Scale Up

Stack and use multiple AVATARs at the same time for higher throughput

Why AVATAR is different than anything else out there

Oxygen and pressure have distinct physiological effects and both play important but independent roles in the cellular microenvironment. Under hypoxic and pressurized culturing conditions, changes are seen in cell morphology, gene and protein expression. Modulation of atmospheric pressure affects the mechanobiology of cell function during culture, and has profound effects on cell homeostasis and metabolism.

The human body is made up of diverse microenvironments that influence the behavior and molecular profiles of cells. Tissues are hypoxic and pressurized. They function at a much lower oxygen level than the basic air environment in typical incubator, and interstitial fluid pressures vary depending on the tissue and organ type.

Percent Oxygen by Tissue Type

Tissue Interstitial Fluid Pressure (PSI)

Greg Semenza’s (John’s Hopkins) important discovery of HIF-1 in cell response to hypoxic environments (Muz et al., Dove Press, 2015, top) was awarded the Lasker Award in 2016 for this major contribution to cancer research. Rakesh Jain (MGH/Harvard), a pioneer in the area of tumor microenvironment (Goel et al., Physiol Rev, 2011, bottom), was awarded the National Medal of Science for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology in 2013.

Modulation of Pressure and Oxygen during culture has profound effects on cell homeostasis

Only AVATAR lets you regulate and alter both the atmospheric pressure and oxygen concentration to what’s optimal for your cell type and research. Promote:

  • Cardiomyocyte and neuronal development
  • Long-term propagation of primary tumor cells
  • Novel target discovery and drug screening
  • Efficient transfection and expansion of primary cells

Venn diagram showing the number of induced and repressed transcripts in each RNA-seq transcriptome produced in response to iPSCs exposed to hypoxia, pressure, or both.

See how the AVATAR can improve your cell therapy…

AVATAR workflow

  1. Cell preconditioning: Primary cells undergo a ‘preconditioning’ and expansion step prior to transfection using a specific AVATAR setting for the cell type. This moves cells into a growth phase over a 48 to 72-hour period followed by a transfection or reprogramming step.
  2. Cell recovery: After transfection, cells are cultured using another AVATAR setting for approximately 24 hours to improve cell viability and transfection efficiency.
  3. Cell expansion: Another AVATAR setting is used for rapid expansion and to enrich for transfected cells.

Total cell solution

Cell viability and growth is as dependent on media formulated to meet your cells’needs as it is on the right microenvironment. That’s why we crafted our own medias tailored for maximal cell health and rapid expansion, while still maintaining cell state and composition. 

Avatar’s proprietary media kits are optimized for specific cell types and include tumor/tissue dissociation buffers and xeno-free, chemically defined media optimized for rapid expansion of primary cells.


Kits and consumables. Our medias are available for a range of cell types including Xcellr8 for expanding challenging tumor populations in culture, and Tcellr8 tailored toward rapid expansion and enrichment of T-cells.

  • Xcellr8 Kit: Primary Tumor Cell Expansion Kit
  • Dissoci8 Kit: Gentle Cell Dissociation Kit
  • Tcellr8 Kit: Immune Cell Expansion Kit
  • XCM Plates: Collagen-Coated plates for adherent cell culture


Protocols. We offer a range of simple, standardized protocols for tumor cells, stem cells, and immune cells. All of them were developed with key opinion leaders and expert customer contributors and cover a range of applications:

  • High yield iPSC reprogramming
  • iPSC differentiation to neuronal lineages
  • iPSC differentiation to cardiomyocytes
  • T cell and NK cell expansions
  • Viral-free T cell transfections
  • Primary tumor expansion and organoid formation

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