Molecular Diagnostics Services, Inc.
A Contract Research Organization

Z-Chamber (Diffusion Chambers) Model


Highly metastatic cell lines cannot be used in traditional xenograft studies because multiple tumor formation makes growth measurements impossible. But we offer a set of metastasis models for these cell lines. Very slow growing tumors are very costly to evaluate in xenograft/syngeneic models due to extended treatment regimens and animal care costs, but other animal models such as the Z-chamber, may be useful when cell culture growth rates are slow.

The Z-chamber (diffusion chambers) is an innovative way to study the effects of test compounds on Tumor growth and angiogenesis without causing undo stress and morbidity to the animals involved. A Z-chamber's simple design consists of a flat Plexiglas cylinder with 180 Ám pore size nylon mesh top and bottom and an injection port in the side of the chamber for the introduction of matrix, tumor cells and test compounds. Chambers are available for both mouse (5 mm ID) and rat (10 mm ID).

When exploring poorly characterized cell lines, only a small group of animals is needed to establish the time required for the chamber to be filled with the tumor colony and support tissue . Having the ability to control the number of cells introduced into the chambers, allows one to study both fast- and slow-growing cell lines in similar time frames. Additional advantages of the Z-chamber design include minimal animal handling and surgical expertise required. Weight loss and stress are not observed in animals.

While general health, body weight, and survival are key statistics for studies using animals, pathology is crucial

to understand the differential effects of drugs on healthy and diseased tissues. Our MDS_pathologist has expertise in animal and human pathology.

In vivo high-throughput screening

The Z-chamber can be used as an efficient, cost-effective primary in vivo screen for potential anti-tumor agents. Treating three animals per group (n=12), a 100-animal study can be used to evaluate as many as 30 compounds in a 12-day period. A typical xenograft study would require over 5 times as many animals, over 15 times the animal care costs, and may require months to evaluate 30 compounds. Similarly, a test agent could be evaluated against a wide variety of tumor cell lines.
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