Today it takes an average of $5 billion and 10-15 years to develop a drug. One of the primary reasons for the high cost and time spent is the poor predictive accuracy of the front end drug discovery process. Conventional in vitro technology and drug-testing methods rely on the use of 2D cell cultures and animal models. Recent studies have demonstrated that 3D cell co-cultures better represent in vivo conditions compared to the standard 2D cultures currently being used in the drug discovery process and have the potential to replace animal models.
Tamer Mohamed and Simon Beyer, graduate students in the Walus Laboratory and Co-Founders of Aspect Biosystems, were awarded the MEMSCAP Design Award at the CMC Microsystems 2013 Annual Symposium in Gatineau, Quebec for their development of a novel microfluidics-based bioprinting platform for the fabrication of 3D software-configurable heterogeneous human tissue constructs. With this novel technology, Aspect Biosystems aims to improve the predictive accuracy of the front end drug discovery process by providing pharmaceutical companies with high-efficacy tissue models that better mimic in vivo conditions.