Bi/ond and collaboration generates 3D in vitro model for studying Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

DMD collaboration

By creating a functional 3D in vitro model using cells with a DMD-causing mutation, this Bi/ond and collaboration offers a significant advancement for DMD research and drug discovery

Delft, the Netherlands, 07:30 CEST and Cambridge, UK 06:30 BST, 30th April 2024 – Bi/ond, a TechBio company empowering pharmaceutical companies to make drug decisions through the fusion of hardware, machine learning, and tissue engineering, and, the company coding human cells for novel cures, today announced the generation of a 3D in vitro model for studying Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), stemming from their collaboration. 


DMD is a genetic disorder causing progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, primarily affecting males, with an incidence of 6 out of 100,000 individuals*. Symptoms of muscle weakness emerge in early childhood. Despite much effort, there are no curative therapies for DMD. Research using 3D in vitro models has the potential to help accelerate the discovery of much-need treatments. 


Bi/ond has established protocols to generate and characterize human 3D skeletal muscle microtissues within its MUSbit platform using opti-ox™ powered, defined and functional iPSC-derived ioSkeletal Myocytes™ and associated DMD disease model cells from The disease models carry a genetically engineered hemizygous deletion in exon 44 or exon 52 of the DMD gene encoding the dystrophin protein, and were compared to their genetically matched healthy control. 

Duchenne 3D in vitro model

"We are delighted that this collaboration with Bi/ond has led to the creation of a human 3D in vitro model to study how exon deletions impact muscle cell function with’s DMD disease model cells. Our cells offer consistency, scalability and reproducibility, overcoming the challenges associated with the use of alternatives such as primary muscle cells, immortalised cell lines and animal models, which suffer from variability and may not accurately represent human biology. Having access to a physiologically relevant translational model for DMD will help scientists accelerate the development of treatments for this relentlessly progressive degenerative disease

Bi/ond’s scientists successfully assessed cells for myotube formation and 3D tissue self-organization and evaluated contractile responses to various electrical stimuli. Within a week, they reliably generated functional 3D muscle bundles with striated myotubes and established protocols for recording intracellular calcium transients. 

The result shows replication of key aspects of DMD pathophysiology in a human 3D in vitro model. 

This achievement was made possible through the combined expertise of the partners and Bi/ond’s silicon-based technology, which integrates tissue growth, drug testing, and activity recording on a single platform, optimizing experimentation while reducing cell usage. 

“The promising outcomes of our DMD cell experiments, conducted in collaboration with, emphasize the transformative potential of joint research efforts in addressing critical, unmet medical needs such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. These results showcase the capabilities of Bi/ond, facilitating the growth, tracking, and testing of 3D tissues on a single platform equipped with high-throughput, microfluidics, and sensing capabilities. This innovative approach enables the generation of human-like data, thanks to the integration of advanced microelectronics”.

Cinzia Silvestri, CEO and founder Bi/ond, the startup where biology meets engineering

The model and protocols developed are now accessible. Companies in the DMD spectrum striving for innovative treatments are encouraged to reach out to Bi/ond for detailed insights and possibilities. 

For further information contact: 
Bi/ond – –

Media Enquiries 
Bi/ond – Zuriñe Garcia – – Chris Hempel, Spark Public Relations,

If you are interested in the results obtained or want to schedule a demo, get in contact now 

About Bi/ond 
Bi/ond is a biotechnology company at the forefront of drug discovery. We leverage our unique expertise in combining hardware, machine learning, and tissue engineering to empower pharmaceutical companies to make informed drug development decisions. 

At the heart of our technology lies a groundbreaking silicon chip, seamlessly integrating sensors, living 3D human tissues, and a blood vessel, thus creating an environment mirroring the human body. This technology enables the generation of reliable, human-relevant data for drug testing, accelerating the journey towards life-saving treatments. 

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About is a synthetic biology company focused on human cells that is advancing medicine and enabling curative treatments.’s opti-ox™ precision cell programming and manufacturing technology enables conversion of induced pluripotent stem cells into any desired human cell type in a single step. This can be achieved within days and at industrial scale, while maintaining exceptional purity and unparalleled consistency.’s cell therapy pipeline, based on txCells™, is focused on serious diseases that lack effective treatments. Our lead candidate, bbHEP01 based on txHepatocytes, is in development as a treatment for patients suffering from acute liver failure (ALF) and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Our extensive ioCells™ research cell product portfolio is opening up new possibilities for studying human biology and developing new medicines. The company was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2016 and has raised approximately $200m.

*source : Muscular Dystrophy Association