Culturing Leukemia Cells in a Bio-Reactor for Drug Discovery and Diagnosis

Brief Description


The technololgy is for culturing leukemia cells in a chamber having a scaffolding surrounded with culture medium, useful for screening anti-leukemic drugs.   It describes a three dimensional ex-vivo method for growing human leukemia cells and leukemic bone marrow. The three dimensional culture system provides the leukemic microenvironment. This technology can be used in the study of pathophysiology of leukemic states, understanding of disease's process, and screening potential therapeutics.

The technique could also be used diagnostically to grow a patient's cells in a culture to screen potential chemotherapeutic drugs to determine which drug regime would be most effective, before starting treatment on the patient.  This would limit the process of trial and error on the patient to determine which drug provides the best treatment , and limit the exposure of the patient to drugs with harmful side effects, which are not effective for him.


Current technologies for the growth and maintenance of leukemia cells cannot maintain a leukemia culture for an extended period of time. This is because of the absence of exogenous growth factors in conventional in-vivo methods.  A long term culturing system is necessary for the study of factors responsible for the induction and maintenance of leukemia. In this invention, the microenvironment generated in the culture is conducive to leukemogenesis and will allow researchers to study and identify leukemic progenitors, define the molecules that regulate leukemic proliferation and differentiation as well as screen potential chemotherapeutic drugs for their efficacy in treating leukemia.

Patent Information:
Title Country Patent No. Issued Date
Ex Vivo Generation of Functional Leukemia Cells in a Three-Dimensional Bioreactor United States 7,087,431 8/8/2006
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Weimin Kaufman
Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
J.H. David Wu
Athanassios Mantalaris
Nicki Panoskaltsis