The Advanced Cell Engineering and 3D Models (ACE-3M) Core is a newly reorganized facility that represents a merger of the prior Advanced In Vivo Models (AIM) and Cell Based Assay Screening Services (C-BASS) Cores. The merged core is physically relocated in T143 (1st floor Taub building on main BCM campus). The ACE-3M Core will continue to provide established services offered previously by AIM and C-BASS cores plus new expanded capabilities for organoids grown in 3D matrices including from patient derived primary tumors (PDO) and from mouse PDX collections from different organ/disease types. Specific established services originally provided by AIM include growth of primary tumors or cancer cell lines on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM-PDX) of the chicken embryo to assess growth, neovascularization, invasion, and metastasis (in ovo). Gene editing and functional genomics services originally provided by C-BASS include generating knock-out and knock-in cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9, providing cDNA, shRNA, and gRNA vectors individually or as custom libraries, and consultation and expert advice on genome-wide or subgenome-targeted screens. The merger will allow us to leverage sophisticated 3D models with cell engineering technologies to provide expanded, cutting-edge functional genomics and genome editing services.
Expanded services of the ACE-3M Core include coordination and assisting with the creation, maintenance and experimental analysis of 3D tumor organoids. A collection of organoids derived from validated breast cancer PDXs mouse models representing the three major subtypes (ER+, HER2+, and TNBC) are available and we are planning on expanding to other organ/disease sites soon. Characterization and experimental analysis of 3D tumor organoids will include assistance with sample preparation for downstream applications such as STR DNA fingerprinting, cytometer-based tumor cell enrichment, biomarker identification, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, functional genomic screening, omics analysis, microscopy imaging and therapeutic response experiments.