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Analysis of 3D micro-tumors for personalized tumor therapy: BMBF supports project with 1 million euros

Hahn-Schickard, the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg and the German company 2cureX GmbH have received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the development of an automated platform technology for in vitro experiments on three-dimensional micro-tumors.

The aim of the project is to provide an automated platform for drug testing on human micro-tumors that meets the requirements of both pharmaceutical drug research and personalized medicine in terms of miniaturization, standardization, automation, flexibility and throughput.

With the help of three-dimensional micro-tumors, the predictability of preclinical studies is to be optimized so that ultimately more patient-specific active substances can be created or identified while minimizing the number of animal experiments required. Furthermore, active substances can be better dosed by testing on physically relevant 3D tumor models in subsequent in vivo experiments, thereby contributing to a reduction in animal suffering.

The chip-free approach to be developed by Hahn-Schickard and IMTEK is based on contact-free dispensing technology and a conventional 384 Microtiter plate and is to be combined with the IndiTreat® system. The fully automated processing platform will achieve both an unprecedented throughput and flexibility in terms of process control that goes far beyond the possibilities of chip-based approaches.

Hahn-Schickard project manager Sabrina Kartmann is looking forward to the upcoming cooperation. “The novel spheroid production and micro-tumor deposition platform allow Hahn-Schickard to take an outstanding position in an internationally highly competitive and innovative field of research. Further applications beyond personalized cancer therapy can be addressed, such as in vitro experiments with artificial organ models for pharmaceutical drug research.”

2cureX is a Danish company with a subsidiary in Germany that specializes in using its IndiTreat® test to analyze cancer tissue samples in order to provide the most effective therapy.

Read the press release by 2cureX (29.4.2020)




  • Non-contact dispensing systems
  • Sensor development
  • Volumetric measurement technology
  • Liquid handling
  • Laboratory automation