B CUBE Center for Molecular Bioengineering was founded around ten years ago at TU Dresden as part of the "Entrepreneurial Regions" initiative financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It sees itself as a bridge between life sciences and engineering. To ensure technologies can be shared between sectors as efficiently as possible, B CUBE works closely with the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) and the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) of TU Dresden. This collaboration is crucial, not least because its newly developed materials and methods are also to be used outside the research sector. The "denovoMATRIX" research team at B CUBE - soon set to join the growing ranks of start-ups - is now unveiling a new biomaterial platform that it hopes will help scientists quickly and efficiently identify the optimum conditions for culturing cells.
Led by Professor Yixin Zhang, the working group at B CUBE has developed a technology it calls "screenMATRIX", which it uses as a simple and chemically defined technique to custom-replicate the cell environments in the body for a whole range of cells and applications. "Our goal is to recreate the essential aspects of human extracellular matrix biology in the artificial system 'cell culture' as closely as possible," explains project leader Dr. Richard Wetzel. "With our materials, we have been able to achieve a tenfold increase in the rate of differentiation of neurons, for example. We have been able to triple the growth of neural progenitor cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells compared to the current standard." The underlying patented technology has been validated in the last two years as part of an EXIST research transfer project and has recently been published in the peer-reviewed journal "Advanced Materials". "In order to make the developed biomaterials available for other scientists, we will spin-off from TU Dresden in summer," announced the designated managing director of the future Dresden-based start-up, Dejan Husman. First test sales of the screenMATRIX are already underway.
Technische Universität Dresden - B-CUBE Center for Molecular Bioengineering (01307 Dresden, Germany)