A/Prof. David Gallego Ortega – Director Single Cell Technology Facility. Head, Functional Genomics Lab. University of Technology Sidney.

Biodonostia OIIko-Ekitaldi Aretoan



To fully investigate cellular responses to stimuli and perturbations within tissues, it is essential to replicate the complex molecular interactions within the local microenvironment of cellular niches. We have recently developed, ALTEN – ALginate-based Tissue Engineering, an innovative, versatile and cost-effective in situ tissue system method that faithfully preserves the complexity of the ecosystems of explanted tissues ex vivo. The ALTEN biomimetic tissue platform allows ex vivo analysis of explanted tissue biopsies. This method preserves the original characteristics of the source tissue’s cellular milieu, allowing multiple and diverse cell types to be maintained over an extended period of time. As a result, ALTEN enables rapid and faithful characterisation of perturbations across specific cell types within a tissue. Importantly, using single-cell genomics, this approach provides integrated cellular responses at the resolution of individual cells. ALTEN is a powerful tool for the analysis of cellular responses upon exposure to cytotoxic agents and immunomodulators. Additionally, we show ALTEN’s scalability using automated microfluidic devices for tissue encapsulation and subsequent transport, to enable centralised high-throughput n-of-1 clinical trials of tumour samples gathered by large-scale multi-centre studies.