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A spin-off company to design and develop preclinical assays of liver diseases

Barcelona Liver Bioservices (BLB) is a spin-off  of the CSIC and IDIBAPS created to offer services of designing and developing pre-clinical assays of liver diseases and liver toxicity of compounds.

Conceptual picture of the 'Liver on a chip' project.The spin-off has been created by the scientists Jordi Gracia-Sancho, head of the hepatic vascular biology group at the IDIBAPS; Rosa Villa, a CSIC scientist at the Barcelona Microelectronics Institute (IMB-CNM) and head of the Biomedical Applications Group (GAB); Jaume Bosch, scientific leader of the IDIBAPS’s ‘Hemodinàmica hepàtica i hipertensió portal’; and Joan Carles Garcia-Pagan, scientific leader of a group focused on researching microcirculation in cirrhosis and hepatic diseases at the IDIBAPS.

The services of the spin-off are based on the technology of a “Liver on a chip” system, which has been patented. It is a device that emulates the microenvironment of the liver in a chamber where living cells are maintained with microfluids.

The device was created by the scientific teams led by Rosa Villa, Jordi Gracia, and Carmen Peralta, at the CSIC, IDIBAPS, CIBEREHD, Hospital Clínic and Universitat de Barcelona. The spin-off Barcelona Liver Bioservices has acquired the device's license.

The device can maintain living hepatic cells for a long time, in conditions very similar to the real ones in the liver. This enables in vitro assays of drugs and hepatic toxicity assays in a microenvironment very similar to the human liver.

The development of the device has received several awards. It was chosen for being presented in the plenary session at the annual conference of the american society of hepatology; it won the second prize of the second Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) Health Innovation Contest in the Biomedical Research Innovation category; and it was granted by Caixa Bioiumpulse 2016 program.

The goal of the spin-off BLB is to facilitate research groups, pharmacological and small biotech companies access to the “Liver on a chip” system as well as other similar technologies. The spin-off was launched with CaixaImpulse, a program for scientific entrepreneurs.


Isabel Gavilanes-Pérez
Vicepresidencia Adjunta deTransferencia
del Conocimiento CSIC
Tel.: 93 5947700
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