With the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, around the globe and a long-term horizon for the development of a vaccine, it is imperative that we rapidly deploy therapeutic agents to stop the viral propagation.

We are developing a human 3D airway screening platform to identify agents with antiviral activity.

This platform is based on zPREDICTA’s tissue reconstruction technology that incorporates the tissue-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular components to replicate the tissue architecture and its biology outside the human body.

If you have new anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds to screen or want to test repurposed therapeutics, please reach out to us.

Requirements for SARS-CoV-2 cell culture model

Human: expression of human ACE2 (hACE2) receptor is required for viral entry

Respiratory tract cells: tracheal, bronchial, and alveolar epithelium express hACE2

Airway epithelium: ciliated epithelial cells connected by tight junctions express hACE2

Characteristics of zPREDICTA’s r-Lung-SARS-CoV-2 model

*r-Lung-SARS-CoV-2 model set-up in 12, 24, and 96 well formats

Air-liquid interphase (ALI): mimics human airway architecture

r-Lung ECM: ECM reconstructing the microenvironment of the human alveolar space

Interstitial ECM: ECM reconstructing the microenvironment of the interstitial space

Ciliated epithelium: airway cells connected by tight junctions into an epithelial sheet with cilia formed on the apical surface (facing the air compartment); once formed, these ciliated epithelial cells express human ACE2 receptors

Interstitial fibroblasts: stromal fibroblasts found in the interstitial space

Inflammatory/immune compartment: immune cells capable of mounting an inflammatory response

r-Lung-SARS-CoV-2 model was set-up in the presence and absence of r-Lung ECM and the formation of tight junctions and cilia were evaluated. In the presence of the r-Lung ECM, both tight junctions and cilia were evident as early as day 6 of culture, while neither formed in the absence of r-Lung ECM.


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