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Q&A with Aracari Biosciences: Vascularization makes drug discovery more profitable, less risky

What’s the story of your company and how does it stand out?

Aracari Biosciences was founded by key pioneers of 3D micro physiological systems. The founders are professors at the University of California, in Irvine and Davis.

Between them, they hold dozens of U.S.-issued patents, launched many successful biotech companies, and have published hundreds of peer-reviewed publications.

What is the name of your proprietary technology or service?

Aracari tests drug candidates in its patented Vascularized Micro-Organ (VMO) and Vascularized Micro-Tumor (VMT) devices (Figure 1), which deliver drugs, nutrients and blood cells naturally through human, fully-perfused vascular networks to 3D tissues embedded in a natural matrix. These devices faithfully recreate the way molecules and immune cells are delivered in vivo.

Aracari Technology
Figure 1. Aracari technology enables automated, high-throughput screening of multiple 3D cell cultures in parallel, all with naturally-formed blood vessels.

How is your technology different from other 3D cell culture technologies?

Other 3D models do not transport oxygen and nutrients through naturally forming blood vessels. Aracari’s devices therefore provide a much more accurate platform for investigating the impact of drug candidates on human organs and tumors in a highly reproducible and scalable way. 

The lifelike vascularization of Aracari’s 3D models also enables the measurement of novel endpoints, such as tissue uptake, vascular toxicity, and the delivery of leukocytes through human vessels to screen immuno-oncology reagents. Aracari technology has successfully vascularized several micro-organs in vitro including human heart, liver, pancreas and brain, where a Blood-Brain Barrier forms naturally in our device.

How do the devices work?

The device is portable and supports 16 autonomous VMO/VMT platforms, while fitting in the palm of the hand (Figure 2.1). Each VMO develops in 4-5 days within a diamond-shaped chamber measuring 1 x 2 mm. Microfluidic channels function as an artery and vein, mirroring the normal anatomy and physiology of a human organ (Figure 2.2). Naturally-forming blood vessels grow within the chamber and connect the two outer channels (Figure 2.3). A blood substitute flows through the vessels, providing nutrients (and drugs) to the surrounding cells in a completely physiological manner, recreating a tissue or tumor in an in vivo-like environment.(Figure 2.4).

Figure 2. How Aracari devices work to model tumor vascularization.

Describe your benefits of working with Science Exchange.

These days, many pharma and biotech sponsor organizations are using Science Exchange to manage their external R&D projects. By serving as a provider on the Science Exchange platform, we are able to rapidly start projects with these clients, since all work is covered by Science Exchange’s standardized agreement and no further legal steps are required. Furthermore, the platform has made project management, invoicing, and payment much easier.


Chandreyee Das

Director, Marketing

Chandreyee Das, Ph.D. (Chemical Biology, UCSF) is Director of Marketing at Science Exchange with 15 years of research experience and 14 years of life science content marketing experience. Chandreyee was a Fulbright Scholar and won fellowships from the U.S. NSF and NIH. Following postdoctoral research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she worked at MilliporeSigma, delivering scientific content to life science tools customers. She has published in both peer-reviewed and industry news outlets.

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