HyStem is a patented biomaterial that is made from and structurally mimics naturally occurring extracellular matrix, the structural network of molecules surrounding cells in organs and tissues that is essential to cellular function and tissue structure. Many tissue engineering and regenerative cell-based therapies will require the delivery of therapeutic cells in a matrix or scaffold for accurate anatomical placement, cell retention and engraftment. HyStem is a unique hydrogel that has been shown to support cellular attachment and survival. Current research at leading medical institutions has shown that HyStem is compatible with a wide variety of cells and tissue types including brain, bone, skin, cartilage, vascular and heart tissues.
The patented technology underlying our HyStem hydrogel products in development, such as Renevia, has been exclusively licensed to BioTime for human therapeutic uses. The HyStem technology is based on a unique thiol cross-linking chemistry to prepare hyaluronan-based hydrogels. Since the first published report in 2002, there have been over 200 academic scientific publications supporting the biocompatibility of thiol cross-linked hyaluronan-based hydrogels and their applications as medical devices and in cell culture, tissue engineering, and animal models of cell-based therapies.
Due to the unique cross-linking chemistry, HyStem hydrogels have the ability to be formulated with cells and can be injected or applied as a gel which allows the hydrogel to conform to a cavity or space. This property of HyStem hydrogels offers several distinct advantages over other hydrogels, including the possibility of combining bioactive materials with the hydrogel at the point of use.