ViVoX TC Biosystem™

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Oxygen and temperature are major factors in gene regulation. ViVoX TC Biosystem workstation keeps the correct physiological gas tensions when investigating the cell's response to changes in oxy­gen levels has become a cen­tral goal for cell-manufactures, tissue-engineers, cancer researchers, as low-oxygen conditions play a role in the resistance of tumors to radiation and chemotherapy, and are also critical in stimulat­ing blood vessel growth.

 

 Scientists studying the genes and proteins involved in oxygen response pathways are increasingly seeking reliable ways to control sample environments. Low oxygen pericellular environment is necessary for correct proliferation and differentiation of stem cells and for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).


To facilitate research and cell production where the intended use amongst others are cell therapy, ViVoX ApS, a biotech company founded by three MDs, headquartertered in Aarhus Denmark, has developed the first mini GMP facility in the world where important basic physiological parameters can be documented and validated. These parameters relates in particular to temperature, clean room facilities and gas tensions that can be documented and logged over time in  order to demonstrate the stability of the system. A line of work­stations that use a gas-regulation system to maintain cells in stable conditions down to less than 0.1% oxygen, which is the lowest oxygentension where cellular respiration can happen . The newest addition to the development of systems for securing growth of cells under physiologically correct conditions line is the TC Biosystem is ViVoX 3rd generation, which features two independent atmos­pherically and temperature-controlled chambers where the airlock can serve as a rescue chamber/incubator if anything unwanted happens in the workspace; either chamber (airlock and workspace)  can be set for anoxic (oxygen-free) or hypoxic (below 21% oxygen) conditions, offering users a conven­ient way to expose samples to different atmospheric envi­ronments. The airlock is large enough to house the transferal of equipment such as microscopes, sensors such as pH-sensors and supplementary oxygen sensors for validation,  centrifuges, stirrers, etc. Besides that a patented interface at one side of the TC Biosystem allows transferal of data and light through firewire, USB and light conductors.

 

Professor in Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Jens Kjeldsen-Kragh, MD, PhD, Ullevål University Hospital, Oslo and Professor Erik Pettersen, University of Oslo, Professor Peter Ebbesen, Department of Stem cell Research at Aalborg University uses a ViVoX TC Biosystem on their research on cell proliferation and cell differentiation and different factors activated at stable temperature and gas tensions such as under the right carbon dioxide conditions as well as under low-oxygen conditions.

 

Professor Jens Kjeldsen-Kragh says the system allows him to study cells for long periods under a specific oxygen tension while still enabling using microscope for quality control, changing media, passage and manipulation of the cells. Standard tissue culture incu­bators require the user to take the cells out of the hypoxic environment prior to manipu­lation and this practice is not in accordance to strict GMP. "The minilaboratory is a relatively inexpensive solution to that problem compared to what a conventional clean room costs to build and where it is inevitable that in such facilities critical parameters such as particles, pH, pOand pCO2 are bound to uncontrolled change during periods of cell manipulation," says Kjeldsen-Kragh. Here we actually for the first time are able to mimic and study the low oxygen “in vivo” microenvironment that is found in the body where stem cells have their natural habitat.

 

Because the workstation offers class-three isolation (Biosafety level 3), and only filtered exhaust from the chambers goes directly into the laboratory, “there are optimal protection from the environment and vice versa," Kjeldsen-Kragh says. The see-through heated double walled transparent front window filters all UV light from the outside during manipulation and thereby ensures high quality for light-sensitive samples (at time where no manipulation or quality control under microscope the company recommends to use the draping to a cover over the view screen). In addition to the built in cleanroomfacility (ISO 14644-1 class 3), also the  inbuilt heat inactivating system works excellent and are able to inactivate pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis virus in between experiments and cell-runs. For most users to whom it is important to document stability in accordance to references and Governmental directives, exact physiological gastensions and temperature the ViVoX TC Biosystem™ is an appropriate choice and actually the only one in the world right now to offer these things. "It's an excellent piece of equipment for what we want, and since we got the TC Biosystem it has demonstrated an extraordinary stability " Kjeldsen-Kragh concludes.