CE19 - Technologies pour la santé

Droplet-based Textile Microfluidics for High-Throughput Organoids Screening – DROMOS

Submission summary

Fast progress in genomics and cell biology is uncovering the complexity of the mechanisms underlying diseases and aging. The application of this new understanding in health, however, raises stronger and stronger technological challenges. This slows down the current pace of progress, and leads to an explosion of costs in pharmaceutical research, and to increasing difficulties to choose the right treatment among a constantly increasing choice of possible drugs and therapeutic options. This diversification let to the concept of “precision” or “personalized” medicine, aiming at selecting the best treatment for each patient using a more and more detailed characterization of his/her specific pathology, at the molecular and cellular level.
The DROMOS project aims at helping the development of more powerful, more specific and less costly diagnosis and treatments, by combining two innovative technological fields. The first is “organoids”: it consists in growing, from cells from patients or stem cells, 3D cellular aggregates reproducing the structure of tissues. On can then use them to test drugs, in a more powerful and less expensive way than with previously used animal models. The second technological field is microfluidics: microfluidic systems can be seen as “microprocessors” able to manipulate minute fluid volume, as conventional microprocessors manipulate information. Microfluidic devices allow to considerably increase the number of tests feasible with a sample, and to accelerate testing. Unfortunately, so far the wide transfer of these technologies to daily life was hindered by their cost and their complexity. The project will overcome this limitation using a new technology “Free Flow Textile Microfluidics”, allowing the mass-production of integrated and low-cost microfluidic systems, by textile technologies. These systems use a combination of innovations by the partners, which allow the integration of complex fluidic architectures and functionalities within the textile “chip”. A preliminary study has validated an original approach, in which hundreds of organoids can be cultivated within droplets prepared in the textile chip, and tested individually against various drug combinations. This approach will find applications e.g. in pharmaceutical research or in precision medicine.
The project will develop in parallel the textile microfluidic chips and the instrument allowing their operation and the implementation of assays. This will be followed by a biological and clinical validation, and finally by the development of a commercial instrument, to transfer as fast as possible the project’s results to patients and the society. Validation will focus on a specific problem: the screening of drugs against pediatric cancers. The textile microfluidic technology is very generic, however, and it will be applicable to a number of other biomedical problems, such as the diagnosis of infectious diseases, regenerative medicine or patient’s follow-up by “intelligent” clothing.
This interdisciplinary project will involve close collaboration between: the microfluidics laboratory MMBM, affiliated to Curie Institute, CNRS and IPGG (Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Institute, first European institute fully dedicated to microfluidics); the GEMTEX laboratory of ENSAIT (National Superior School of Textile Arts and Industries), a European leader in textile innovation; the Clinical and fundamental research laboratory U830 Institut Curie/INSERM, who will develop biological and clinical aspects and testing; and finally the biomedical startup INOREVIA, who will develop the pre-industrial prototype, and prepare industrialization and commercialization of the technology after its validation within the project.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Jean-louis Viovy (Unite physico-chimie Curie, UMR168)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


PCC Unite physico-chimie Curie, UMR168
GEMTEX GEnie des Matériaux TEXtiles

Help of the ANR 697,373 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 42 Months

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