Tissue culture and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

TISuMR is a cutting-edge science project funded by the “Future and Emerging Technologies” program within the Horizon 2020 Framework by the European Union.

The life sciences have made impressive discoveries over the past decades which have enabled a wide range of new medical treatments as well as new diagnostic tools. Much of this success story has been driven by research on individual cells. However, the interaction of different cell types in the highly organised structure of living tissue is an essential feature of higher organisms, and many important processes cannot be understood on the level of the individual cell.

Studying the interplay of cells in their natural tissue environment often means working with animal models, which is costly and ethically problematic.

TISuMR is developing revolutionary new technology that combines microfluidic lab-on-a-chip tissue culture with advanced nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The culture of tissue in vitro provides an alternative that can lead to more scientific insight since it is easier to observe the details of biological processes. It is also more cost-effective, and largely eliminates animal suffering.

The challenge is to make sure that tissue cultured in an artificial environment stays healthy and closely replicates the features of its function as if it were still a part of the body.

TISuMR aims to combine advanced microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems for tissue culture with new spectroscopic techniques based on nuclear magnetic resonance. This will make it possible to follow the metabolism of tissue samples quantitatively and in great detail. The resulting information can be used to optimise the culture conditions, assess the health and function of tissue samples, and follow disease processes in close detail.