Portable Cell Maintenance System

Period of Performance: 11/22/2005 - 10/21/2006


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Agave Biosystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC


Cultured cell-based biosensors offer insight into the physiological action of the agent of interest, which is an advantage over other types of sensors. The development of cell-based biosensors that are field-portable would increase their utility in toxicology and environmental monitoring. One of the most significant issues hampering the development of field portable cell-based biosensors is the maintenance of optimal cultured cell environment under field conditions. In the Phase I work, Agave BioSystems and Cornell University successfully demonstrated proof of concept for a cell maintenance system (CMS) with integrated pH, osmolarity, CO2 and temperature sensors to support multiple vertebrate cells and cell types. In the Phase I CMS instrument demonstration, endothelial cells, fibroblast cells, and neuronal networks were supported for at least 3 days. In the proposed Phase II effort, a compact, portable and rugged prototype cell maintenance system will be developed and constructed with integrated monitoring and environmental control. The system will be designed to maintain a variety of cell types for more than 30 days.