Humans have 600 to 700 lymph nodes, or tiny organs which play a central role in protecting our organism against foreign bodies. Their function is very specific; only human lymph nodes can display a human immune response. To date, there is no artificial immune system that can reproduce human immune responses in vitro (outside a living organism). The biotechnological hurdles are simply too great – too complex and too close to tissue formations, with too many kinds of possible biological immune responses. Moreover, there is enormous variability from person to person.
The goal of MyCellFight is to develop an automated immune chip.
Such a chip is intended to predict the individual biological immune responses of up to 100 people of all ages. MyCellFight aims to illustrate simpler, key biological occurrences. Drugs and other substances will be tested on the immune chip to observe desired (pharmacological effectiveness) or undesired (toxicity and safety) effects on the human immune system. The results will be patented insofar as is possible and licensed directly to industrial partners in laboratory automation as well as users of in vitro test systems. The immune chip as a whole or in parts should also be available as a service, for example for bilateral research projects with industrial or public sector clients.
MAVO is in a unique position when compared with other approaches thanks to its use of primary cells, its singular, fully-automated chip design, and its contribution to a quick and specific analysis of immune responses.
The strategic orientation of MyCellFight creates an opportunity for animal-testing-free biomedical research and development, both for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and for the next generation of efficacy and safety research, combined with functional genomics – with a focus on human health.
A network of six high-profile, complementary Fraunhofer institutes combines expertise from health, biotech, and life sciences with business-oriented and economic analyses.