Wednesday, 30 November 2022 to Thursday, 1 December 2022

Okomera: Functional Precision Medicine Enabled by Droplet Microfluidics


AS Chaurasia1; T Duboys1; G Mary1; L Fuoco1; L Mercier1; C Plaire1; A Dechelette1; B Charmettant1; S Jernstrom1; R Tomasi1
1 Okomera, France


In precision cancer medicine, common practice is to predict the optimal cure using sequencing. Although only 7% of the sequenced patients benefit from the identified treatment, notably because of the challenge to identify a matching drug/mutation pair. Functional precision medicine is an emerging field, relying on ex vivo testing of drugs on live patient samples. However, patient samples are scarce and difficult to maintain ex vivo in conventional culturing protocols. To overcome these limitations, Okomera has developed a unique technology for miniaturized, automated and functional cell assays in precision cancer medicine. Our droplet microfluidics workflow only requires a small amount of patient cancer cells from a biopsy, and enables to quickly form hundreds of reproducible 3D microtumors in parallel on a chip. Each droplet encapsulates typically 50 cancer cells, and is immobilized on an array of microwells, allowing the cells to sediment and form a single 3D microtumor. Each droplet remains stationary for the whole course of the experiment, facilitating imaging over time. At any point of the experiment, an additional droplet can be trapped alongside the cell droplet and merged to add new content. This sequential addition can be used to add fluorescently barcoded chemical libraries, resulting in up to 100 different conditions per chip, for hydrogel encapsulation or 3D co-culture and immune-oncology. These chips are imaged with conventional epi-fluorescence microscopy and the corresponding images are analyzed using a custom Artificial Intelligence-powered software for cell segmentation and quantitative features extraction in order to assess drug efficacy. Okomera provides a laboratory instrument, microfluidic consumables and an analysis software to miniaturize and automate functional precision medicine.

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