A real-time movie illustrating the beating cilia inside of a single, human bronchosphere. Bronchospheres are cultured in a 3D matrix and form ‘ball-like’ structures. The ciliated cells line the interior of the structure and beat to propel the mucus gel, a vital component of the mucociliary clearance system. Bronchospheres also contain the mucus producing goblet cells. Each bronchosphere can therefore be considered to be a small segment of airway that enables the function of key airway cells to be studied in the context of a fully functioning epithelium. Bronchospheres can be cultured in 384 well assay plates and are ideal for use in high-throughput screening approaches to identify new drug targets in areas as diverse as anti-inflammatories to anti-infectives to regenerative medicine.
Enterprise Therapeutics plans to evaluate efficacy of its ENaC, TMEM16A and mucus reduction drug candidates in early proof of concept clinical trials in CF, COPD and asthma.