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Innovation for industry | Health & life sciences

Cellandsoft, in vitro culture plates for drug discovery

Published on 15 December 2022
​Faster, cheaper, more successful drug discovery

Cell&Soft develops flexible, textured culture plates that mimic human tissues for more realistic in vitro trials and faster drug discovery.

Cell&Soft culture plates.

In vitro cell cultures are plagued by a lack of predictability: 98% of promising results obtained in vitro turn out to be clinical failures. The low success rate is due in part to the plastic culture plates used in labs. A million times stiffer than human tissues and organs, the plates subject cells to a very different environment than that of their original organs, skewing the results.

Cell&Soft’s hydrogel culture plates mimic the physiological rigidity of the lungs, heart, brain, and other organs and tissues. Several academic research laboratories have confirmed that the cellular models developed on these plates are more realistic, providing in vivo conditions for the testing of new drug candidates for cancer, inflammatory diseases, fibrosis, and myopathies.

The startup has developed an initial line of eleven products and co-develops custom plates with biotech companies. The CEA saw the potential of these technologies at an early stage and financed the first market studies.

Key figure: 10%

Today, only 1% to 2% of drug candidates tested in vitro are effective in clinical trials; Cell&Soft’s goal is to increase this figure to 10%

Key markets:

  • Oncology
  • Development of stem cells for personalized medicine


  • Synthetic hydrogels designed using microelectronic techniques
  • Photopolymerization through lithography masks enables local rigidity representative of a given organ

Year founded: 2018

Originating institutes: CEA-Irig and CNRS-LTM