The system saves time and money by minimising the steps and equipment needed for cell culture, reducing space and media requirements, and improving compatibility with durable equipment.
With the product fully developed and manufacturing processes in place, its maker Biocrystal has already signed marketing agreements with non-exclusive distributors around the world but is searching for more commercial deals and is also looking at direct marketing.
Opticell is a 2mm thick culture chamber consisting of a sterile, sealed cell culture environment between two optically clear gas-permeable growth surfaces in a standard microtiter plate-sized plastic frame with specially designed ports for access to the contents.
Compared to its competitors, it takes less than one-fifth the bench-top, incubator, or storage space, provides one-third more growth surface, and generates one-third less solid waste by weight than a traditional culture flask.
The company's CEO, Jeff Bergen, explained to In-Pharmatechnologist.com why he believes Opticell's relatively expensive price - $5.5 (€4.5) per unit when bought in bulk - is justified by the benefits it offers.
"OptiCell is sterile and its use inside or outside of an incubator protects cells at all times, this is not true with other devices," he says.
"For example, OptiCell can be removed from an incubator and placed on a microscope stage for high quality imaging without contaminating the cell culture process."
Bergen also points out that cells can be isolated and expanded in OptiCell, whereas multiple devices are required from other sources to accomplish this.
As a result, the associated cost reduction for using the cell separation technology of OptiCell is a factor of 4 or more.
What is more, Biocrystal's system cells can be shipped across country from one scientist to another using their own approved mailer, while with other cell culture products cells must be removed from their culture devices, repackaged in other shipping devices and placed in special packaging to accomplish the same transfer.
Opticell will be showcased at the AACR Meeting in Washington DC in April.