Drug Safety on a Chip

A Closer Look

Fluorescent green indicates live cells on a DataChip.


Close up of a DataChip spot: live cells stain green, while dead cells are red.

Solidus Technology

The DataChip/MetaChip technology is based on the combination of microscale biocatalysis (human P450-catalyzed metabolism of drug candidates), human cell culture (amenable for screening major cell types of the body), materials science (to all microscale fabrication and operation), and automation technology to achieve high throughput operation with bench top instruments.

The fundamentally distinctive advantages of the DataChip/MetaChip platform are the result of product and process characteristics designed and engineered to replicate the human metabolism process. Consequently, the platform features a 3D cellular environment that mimics that of human tissues in vivo. It has the ability to accommodate a diverse array of cells, metabolizing enzymes and enzyme mixtures, and a broad array of drug candidates. Combined with platform aspects that optimize cell growth, these system characteristics transform to robust competitive strengths of high throughput, high predictive reliability, low cost, and consistent reproducibility of toxicity profiles. The exclusive legal rights to exploit this technology are embodied in the Solidus patents (issued and pending) and/or filed and pending by Solidus/SEMCO.

DataChip/MetaChip Technology

Until the development of the DataChip/MetaChip technology, use of hepatocytes (primary liver cells) was the preferred in vitro means to evaluate metabolism-induced toxicity. In contrast to the DataChip/MetaChip, use of hepatocytes is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. In addition, hepatocytes are not always readily available and their metabolic capability is unstable. As a result, hepatocyte data are often variable and lack sufficient predictability for accurate assessment of human toxicity.

Furthermore, the nature of toxicity data and information obtained from hepatocytes are highly generalized (revealing only that the metabolite is toxic without identification of the specific enzyme(s) as a contributor(s) to induced-metabolism based toxicity). Thus, hepatocytes are unreliable, often irreproducible, and minimally helpful for product development decision-making. In sum, hepatocytes are a poor competitive alternative to the DataChip/MetaChip.