HepatoPac® Learning Series: Part 4 - ASSESSING IN VITRO TOXICOLOGY

June 01, 2017

For over a year now, SOLVO has been collaborating with Ascendance Biotechnology (formerly Hepregen) in the commercialization of their unique HepatoPac® plates in Europe and Asia. Encouraged by positive customer feedback and repeated orders from our customers, our own experience with the plates and the response to our webinar series in 2016, we are launching a series of Science Letters to further educate you on the use of this platform.

This week, the fourth and last in this series: Assessing in vitro Toxicology using Micropatterned Co-Cultures of Primary Hepatocytes.

Besides applications in drug metabolism, transport, and clearance studies, which were covered in the previous science letters, HepatoPac® is also a useful tool to study drug toxicity. As demonstrated in this week’s Science Letter, micropatterned co-cultured hepatocytes can also be used for predictive and mechanistic hepatotoxicity assays.

Established in vitro models for detecting hepatotoxicity, such as mono- and sandwich hepatocyte cultures, are only viable for 3-5 days. This limits their sensitivity and use in detection of chronic toxicity studies, and in turn their value as predictive tools. In addition, in many cases compounds must be dosed at higher than physiological concentrations in order to observe toxic responses within this short window of functionality. This can lead to results that are not clinically relevant. In contrast to that:

Hepatocytes in HepatoPac® co-cultures retain their in vivo-like morphology, express liver specific genes, metabolize compounds using active Phase I/II drug metabolizing enzymes, secrete diverse liver-specific products, and possess functional bile canaliculi for up to 4 weeks in vitro.
The extended functionality of HepatoPac® allows for compound dosing at clinically relevant concentrations with repeat dosing over longer periods of time to detect chronic toxicity.
HepatoPac® co-cultures are available for a variety of species including human, monkey, rat and dog, enabling researchers to identify the most suitable animal model for pre-clinical studies.

Open the full Science Letter to read about three case studies in which HepatoPac® was utilized as a model for hepatotoxicity:

Prediction of DILI (specificity and sensitivity)
Reactive metabolite toxicity (Acetominophen)
Species specific liver toxicity (Fialuridine)


HepatoPac® is available for a variety of species (rat, dog, or human) and can be delivered in different formats (24-, 72-, and 96-well). Apart from HepatoPac® products, SOLVO also offers services using HepatoPac® plates. Contact us to find out more!

This is the last in a series of four science letters about HepatoPac®. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about this tool, we are happy to support you with more data and information!

Also, stay tuned for more science letters on more topics in the near future!


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