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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Draper to Create Breakthrough "Oral Modeling" Device with Colgate-Palmolive

Human Organ Systems Technology speeds development and improves efficacy of Oral Disease treatments

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Developing oral care products to prevent and treat oral diseases requires model systems to test the potential therapies before applying them to humans.  However, the ability of current models to accurately reflect human oral physiology or predict the effects of therapies on the human disease state is limited, and can be a rate limiting stage of the development process. Colgate-Palmolive is working with Draper to create an advanced gum tissue model that improves the predictive power of the testing to support the development of improved oral care products.

“Draper engineers have deep expertise in building complex, 3D microfluidic structures to recreate a microenvironment similar to what cells experience in the human body. Colgate-Palmolive scientists are experts in understanding human oral physiology. We are partnering with Colgate scientists to develop an advanced platform that recreates the human oral physiology in an accurate, reproducible, cost-effective and predictive format,” according to Tara Clark, vice president of commercial solutions, Draper.

Draper’s human organ systems (HOS) technology can mimic the functions of human organs and tissues in microscale form to test the effectiveness and safety of therapies. Draper’s HOS consists of multiple organ types in a high-throughput format. The HOS models can be applied beyond consumer products to test drugs and biologics. Using cells obtained from cross-sections of patient populations allows comparative testing to identify personalized therapies.
This oral HOS provides a sophisticated system, which recreates human oral tissue in well-defined conditions to better mimic physiology and predict effects on humans, thereby allowing for faster development of product designed to prevent and cure oral diseases.

By applying multiple engineering disciplines to this systems challenge, Draper’s HOS provides sensors that enable lab scientists to access real-time, objective data. Colgate-Palmolive’s scientists and Draper’s engineers then can work side-by-side to generate data to characterize the potential of their new oral care products. The resulting accurate predictions of the effects of therapies on humans reduce the cost and time spent both in the lab and during the clinical testing.

The oral HOS will allow Colgate-Palmolive to collect higher-quality data more efficiently to better predict how its products improve the health of the user. The goal is to better model the oral tissue to accelerate the discovery and development of new products. 

Draper’s Human Organ System (HOS) mimics human physiology by precisely controlling an environment for cells. The microscale size and integrated sensors enable high-throughput analysis and real-time measurements to generate better data for product development scientists. Like other configurations of the HOS, the oral version supports a more predictive response of human tissue to consumer products, drugs and biologics.
Capabilities Used

Draper has designed and developed microelectronic components and systems going back to the mid-1980s. Our integrated, ultra-high density (iUHD) modules of heterogeneous components feature system functionality in the smallest form factor possible through integration of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with Draper-developed custom packaging and interconnect technology. Draper continues to pioneer custom Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and custom radio frequency components for both commercial (microfluidic platforms organ assist, drug development, etc.) and government (miniaturized data collection, new sensors, Micro-sats, etc.) applications.  Draper features a complete in-house iUHD and MEMS fabrication capability and has existing relationships with many other MEMS and microelectronics fabrication facilities. 

Biomedical Solutions

Draper’s Biomedical Solutions capability centers on the application of microsystems, miniaturized electronics, computational modeling, algorithm development and image and data analytics applied to a range of challenges in healthcare and related fields. Draper fills that critical engineering niche that is required to take research or critical requirements and prototype or manufacture realizable solutions.  Some specific examples are MEMS, microfluidics and nanostructuring applied to the development of wearable and implantable medical devices, organ-assist devices and drug-delivery systems. Novel neural interfaces for prosthetics and for treatment of neurological conditions are being realized through a combination of integrated miniaturized electronics and microfabrication technologies.

Materials Engineering & Microfabrication

Draper continues to develop its expertise in designing, characterizing and processing materials at the macro-, micro- and nanoscales. Understanding the physical properties and behaviors of materials at these various scales is vital to exploit them successfully in designing components or systems. This enables the development and integration of biomaterials, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, wafer fabrication, chemical and electrochemical materials and structural materials for application to system-level solutions required of government and commercial sponsors.

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