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Validated Breast Cancer Xenograft Models

Altogen Labs is a GLP-compliant biotech laboratory that specializes in oncology research studies and provides preclinical testing of new medicines that often require a sequence of experiments utilizing various scientific methods to demonstrate novel compound anti-cancer efficacy, safety, and mechanism of action. Breast cancer is the second leading cancer that causes death in women globally, and cancer itself is the second leading cause of death for women. It is highly dangerous due to the speed at which it spreads throughout the body. While survival rates may be increasing due to increased screening and treatments, it remains lethal and one of the most prominent cancers in women. To accelerate oncology drug development, Altogen Labs offers over 100 established PDX and CDX xenograft models.

All breast cancer xenograft models available at Altogen Labs are in-house validated and provide essential tools to test the efficacy and safety of novel breast cancer medications. These xenograft models are generated by the xenotransplantation of human tumorigenic breast cancer cells under the skin of immunocompromised mice (subcutaneous) or via orthotopic injection of breast cancer cells into the mammary fat pad of mice in order to study tumor growth. Altogen Labs offers many PDX models and 11 CDX validated breast cancer xenograft animal models with individual characteristics (ER, HER-2/neu, PR, EGFR, KRAS, BRCA1-2, TP53, FGFR1-4, BRAF, NRAS, etc) to serve a variety of different research needs: 4T1,  BT474,  HS578T,  KPL-4,  MCF-7,  MDA-MB-157,  MDA-MB-231,  MDA-MB-453,  MDA-MB-468,  T47D. Xenograft studies allow a similar representation of human pathology to study cellular events, providing scientists with an in vivo model of tumor behavior that allows greater insight and data for research. Xenotransplantation studies create an effective environment for the evaluation of pharmaceutical compounds and the studying of cell behavior and screening of cancer therapies. This is an essential step that provides necessary information and evaluations in the pharmaceutical development process.

About Altogen Labs

Altogen Labs is a biology CRO company, headquartered in Austin, Texas that provides safety and efficacy testing for novel anti-cancer medicines. Preclinical services include safety in vivo toxicology studies (for IND applications), efficacy studies (for regulatory submissions), drug discovery (for patent applications), and many other types of R&D pharm/tox, biodistribution, and xenograft efficacy studies.


Nanoparticle In Vivo Transfection Reagent (Altogen)

July 27, 2021 – Altogen Biosystems® is a biotechnology manufacturing company that specializes in the development and testing of optimized cell transfection reagents and kits for both in vitro and in vivo delivery. In 2018 Altogen Biosystems launched the AltoFect transfection reagent formulated for difficult-to-transfect cells (like B-cells, T-cells), and primary cell cultures that are… Continue Reading

Crossing Blood-Brain Barrier and In Vivo Delivery of Negatively Charged Biomolecules into Glioblastoma Enabled by Altogen's Nanoparticle In Vivo Transfection Reagent

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – July 19, 2021 – Altogen Biosystems, leading manufacturer of in vivo transfection products, announced today that Altogen’s nanoparticle-based in vivoTransfection reagent (catalog #5031) was demonstrated to be effective for glioblastoma-targeted co-delivery of plasmid DNA (3.7 kb) and chemically modified siRNA. This transfection reagent was used in over 30 research publications, demonstrating highly… Continue Reading

Citations and References: Altogen® Transfection Kits

Citations and References: ALTOGEN® Transfection Reagents Nature 2008 454(7203):523-7. Innate immunity induced by composition-dependent RIG-I …Saito et al [PDF] Nature Medicine 2016 22(10):1131–1139. A Long Non-Coding RNA Defines an Epigenetic Checkpoint … Wang et al [PDF] Cell Rep 2018 22(2):523. The Foxo1-Inducible Transcriptional Repressor Zfp125 … Gustavo et al [PDF] Molecular Therapy 2018. Liposome Lipid-Based… Continue Reading

Solutions for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 research

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) affected over 65 countries reporting confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Altogen Biosystems developing following research products to support scientists with a variety of essential coronavirus research resources: qRT-PCR TaqMan based assays for quantitative analysis Synthetic molecular standards for SARS-CoV-2 Strains and RNA representing coronaviruses known to cause… Continue Reading

cGMP-grade Nanoparticle Transfection Reagent for In Vivo Delivery

Altogen Biosystems is a manufacturer of life science research products that includes in vivo transfection reagents designed for tissue-targeted delivery of biomolecules. Altogen’s Nanoparticle In Vivo Transfection Reagent was launched in 2008 and used in over 30 research publications demonstrating highly efficient delivery of cargo nucleic acids (siRNA, microRNA, mRNA, plasmid DNA, and small proteins)… Continue Reading

CRISPR/Cas9 Transfection Optimization

Efficient delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex can be achieved efficiently through the use of cationic lipid-based transfection reagents. Cells may undergo electroporation to increase the probability of successful transfection. Once inside a target cell, the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex requires no additional stimulation to start modifying the cell’s genome. Genome modification will occur within one… Continue Reading

Amino Acid Reference Chart

A reference chart for the 20 human amino acids and associated properties.  Code (1): Refers to each amino acid’s single letter code Code (3): Refers to each amino acid’s three letter code pKa: Refers to the negative logarithm of thedissociation constant for the functional group of the amino acid. Also known asthe pH below which… Continue Reading

Forward Transfection or Reverse Transfection?

Forward and reverse transfection protocols each have their significant uses in research.  The main protocol difference between forward and reverse transfection is whether or not the cells are plated the day before transfection (as in forward transfection) or seeded at the same time of the transfection.  Forward transfection is commonly used in situations where the… Continue Reading

AltoFect v2.0 second generation transfection reagent

AltoFect v2.0, the second generation transfection reagent for primary cell types and hard-to-transfect cell lines. AltoFect transfection reagent exhibits up to 85% transfection efficiency in difficult-to-transfect cells such as T-cells, B-cells, and primary cell cultures. The advance has opened up the path to reliable in vitro testing of realistic responses from cells that were previously… Continue Reading

Plasmid DNA and siRNA transfection protocol optimization

There are several experimental parameters that affect transfection efficiency and associated cell viability for siRNA and plasmid DNA transfection experiments: Transfection protocol (method and conditions) Health of cultured cells Purity and concentration of pDNA and/or siRNA Controls Transfection protocol Optimized transfection protocols are available for over 100 cancer cell lines and primary cell types (see… Continue Reading

Stable transfection reagents and techniques

Stable transfection, sometimes called permanent transfection, is the integration of plasmid DNA into the chromosome of cancer cell’s DNA.  The creation of a stable cell line enables the researcher to analyze long term effects of the introduced gene.  Downstream studies incorporating the stable cell line includes overexpression of the gene insert for protein production, cell… Continue Reading

How much antibiotic required for stable cell selection?

Stable cell lines are a crucial laboratory tool that over-expresses a gene of interest in order to study gene functions, screen experimental drugs or produce therapeutic proteins (i.e. recombinant antibodies).  The cell lines will divide and continue to express the inserted transgene.  Briefly, exogenous plasmid DNA is transfected into a host cell line, which is… Continue Reading

Transfection optimization

The most vital aspect of a transfection is ensuring all conditions are optimized, including transfection reagent volume, oligo concentration, cell viability and passage number, lack of negative control activity, activity of positive control and calibrated incubator temperature, humidity and percentage of CO2.  Even if all these parameters are correctly addressed, transfection efficiency must be determined… Continue Reading

Codon Chart

A reference codon chart for the three-letter RNA codes and their corresponding amino acids. Below are the nucleotides and their abbreviations, followed by amino acids and their full name, three letter code, and single letter abbreviations.    2nd position         1st position U C A G 3rd position U Phe Ser Tyr… Continue Reading

Biological Buffer Reference Chart

A reference chart for biological buffers, their pKa, effective pH range, and applicable molecular weights. Values based on 25 ° C and 100mM buffer. Buffer (100mM) pKa (25°C) effective pH range Molecular Weight (g/mol) ACES 6.78 6.1-7.5 182.2 Acetate 4.76 3.6-5.6 59.04 ADA 6.59 6.0-7.2 190.2 Ammonia 9.25 8.8-9.9   AMP 9.69 8.7-10.4 89.14 AMPD… Continue Reading

SDS Gel Dyes & Buffers

Recipes for running SDS protein gel electrophoresis, SDS sample loading dye, and Coomassie staining protein gels. 5x SDS loading dye 125mM Tris-HCl, pH 6.75 20% (v/v) glycerol 10% (v/v) 2-mercaptoethanol 4% SDS 0.02% bromophenol blue 5x Running buffer (1L) 72 g glycine 15 g Tris-HCl 5 g SDS Gel Stain 2.5g/L Coomassie Blue 45% (v/v)… Continue Reading

Single Percentage Polyacrylamide Gels

Recipe for casting common single percentage protein polyacrylamide gels. Separation Gel (10mL) 7% 10% 12.5% 15% Stacking Gel (4mL) H2O 5.1 mL 4.1 mL 3.3 mL 2.5 mL 2.1 mL Acrylamide/bis (30%) 2.3 mL 3.3 mL 4.1 mL 5.0 mL 0.8 mL Tris-HCL (1.5M, pH 8.8) 2.5 mL 2.5 mL 2.5 mL 2.5 mL 1… Continue Reading

Pharmacology Abbreviations

A reference table for commonly used pharmacology terms and abbreviations. Drugs   ACD Anticonvulsant drug ACR Adverse drug reaction ASA Acetylsalicyclic acid (aspirin) CD Curative dose D, dos Dose, dosage DAW Dispense as written DAWN Drug Abuse Warning Network DIG Digitalis DSB Drug-seeking behavior IND Investigational new drug INH Isoniazid (TB drug) LD Lethal dose… Continue Reading

Medical Assessment Abbreviations

Common medical assessment abbreviations separated into two categories: diagnostic testing and health assessment. ‘Diagnostic testing’ refers to various test types and molecular levels that can be requested to assess and diagnose patients. ‘Health assessment’ refers to the various physical conditions and their descriptions. Diagnostic Testing   ac phos, ACP acid phosphatase AFP alpha fetoprotein A/G… Continue Reading

Common Scientific Constants

A reference chart of some common physical and mathematical constants. Physical  & Mathematical Constants     Atmosphere (standard) atm 101.325 × 103 Pa Atomic mass unit (Dalton) amu 1.661 × 10-24 g Avogadro’s number N 6.022 × 1023/mol Base of natural log e 2.718 Becquerel Bq 1 dps Boltzmann constant k 1.381 × 10-23 J/K… Continue Reading

Scientific Unit Abbreviations

A reference table of scientific units and their abbreviations as well as some prefixes used in the international system of units.  Unit Abbreviations A ampere Å angstrom atm atmosphere Bq becquerel C coulomb °C Celsius, centigrade cal calorie cc cubic centimeter Ci, c Curie cm centimeter cpm counts per minute Da dalton dam decameter dB… Continue Reading

Blood and Cardiovascular Abbreviation Charts

Reference and study charts for convenience. Blood-related Abbreviations   ABMT autologous bone marrow transplant ABO blood groups AC anticoagulant ACT anticoagulant therapy agg, aggl agglutination AHF antihemophilic factor AIHA autoimmune hemolytic anemia ALL acute lymphocytic leukemia AML acute myelogenous leukemia APA antipernicious anemia (factor) AUL acute undifferentiated leukemia B, bl, bld blood baso basophil bl… Continue Reading

DNA Gel Loading Dye Recipes

Agarose Gel Loading Dye Recipes (6x) When considering which DNA loading dye to use it’s important to select a dye that won’t obscure your sample. i.e. If looking for a product expected to be ~300 bp, bromophenol blue will run with your sample and may obscure it. With 6x dye, load equivalent ratio of 5… Continue Reading

Agarose Gel and Running Buffer Recipes

Agarose Gel Recipes Agarose (see chart) 1x running buffer 0.1% EtBr (0.5mg/mL stock solution) Microwave for 1-3 minutes until agarose is dissolved, watching carefully as to not over boil solution Add EtBr after microwaving Make 100 mL of agarose solution for a typical cast % Agarose concentration DNA resolution 0.5 1– 30 kb 0.7 800… Continue Reading

Specialized Medical Care and Management Abbreviations

Reference tables for the abbreviations for managed care, U.S. agencies and organizations, and specialized areas/facilities for medical purposes. ‘Managed Care’ refers to common abbreviations when dealing with insurance and payments in the medical field. ‘Agencies & Organizations of the United States’ lists the most common/relevant abbreviations. ‘Specialized areas and facilities’ is a reference chart for… Continue Reading

AltoFect Transfection Reagent for Primary Cells and Hard-to-transfect Cell Lines

Altogen Biosystems developed AltoFect™ Transfection Reagent – a new generation transfection reagent optimized for high transfection efficiency of primary cells and difficult-to-transfect cell lines. It has been successfully tested to deliver all types of nucleic acids (plasmid DNA constructs, si/miRNA, shRNA, dsRNA, mRNA, etc), small proteins, and negatively charged small molecules. Cancer cell lines and primary cell types, a… Continue Reading

Eyes, Ears & Skin Charts

Medical abbreviation chart for the special senses ear & eye and the integumentary system. Ear   AC air conduction AD right ear AOM acute otitis media AS left ear AU both ears CAPD central auditory processing disorder dB decibel EE ear & eye ENT ear, nose & throat ET Eustachian tube HD hearing distance HL… Continue Reading

Blood Pressure Chart

A blood pressure chart for interpreting systolic (the measurement of the heart contracting and pumping blood) and diastolic (the measure of when the heart is relaxed) numbers. A systolic pressure of 140+ indicates high blood pressure, regardless of diastolic pressure A diastolic pressure of 90+ indicates high blood pressure, regardless of systolic pressure A systolic… Continue Reading

Importance of cell passage number and cell confluency for efficient transfection

The viability, confluency and passage number are all vital parameters for a successful transfection.  Here are helpful hints for each of these aspects: Viability Viability is the percentage of living cells in a suspension Determined using trypan blue exclusion Cells are considered to be healthy if viability is greater than 90% Confluency Confluency is the… Continue Reading

Where to purchase cancer cell lines?

Cancer cell lines must be purchased from trustworthy vendors (i.e. ATCC, Sigma-Aldrich, DSMZ), along with signing licenses and agreements.  These large cell bank vendors have established good quality control processes, document controls and facilities that are able to offer well characterized cell lines. Continue Reading

Caspase-3/7 cell line screen for test compound

Caspase 3/7 activity is a cell based assay that measures apoptosis.  Commercially available reagents enable high-throughput screening of apoptosis inducing test compounds or contract research organizations can readily perform the compound screening.  A brief overview of the protocol is as follows: Cells in logarithmic growth are seeded in a 96-well plate Depending on the scope… Continue Reading

Tissue culture using flasks vs dishes for cell lines

Flasks and dishes that are cell culture coated are both acceptable consumables to use for cell culture.  Employing sterile techniques allows an experienced scientist to use either item, with pros and cons listed here for each system. Filtered Flasks Narrow opening translates to a lesser chance of contaminant entering the flask Ideal for long term… Continue Reading

Cell passage: How to correctly dilute and split cultured cells

There are many different cell culture techniques. Utilizing correct cell passaging methods is important to keep cell line in exponential growth curve, therefore making it a good model as a host for transfection experiments. “Cell passage” is a term used by other scientists to demonstrate the following process: Wash cells with PBS Detach cells from… Continue Reading

Muscle & Bone

A reference and study chart for abbreviations of the muscular and skeletal systems. Muscular System   abd abduction ACL anterior cruciate ligament add adduction ADL activities of daily living ART active resistance training BMD Becker muscular dystrophy DTR deep tendon reflex EMG electromyography EMS electric muscle stimulator EOM extraocular muscles IM intramuscular Lig, L ligament… Continue Reading

How to ship cells as a live culture?

Shipping cells to collaborators can be accomplished by either sending them a frozen aliquot on dry ice or by sending a live culture.  Sending a live culture has the advantages of the cells continuing their exponential growth to aid in timing of experiments.  This is accomplished by completely filling the flask with culture medium, closing… Continue Reading

How to determine cell viability?

Cell viability is a calculation of the number of viable or living cells within the total number of cells.  Although there are now commercially available alternatives to the historical method, trypan blue exclusion is the tried and true method commonly used in the lab.  Briefly, trypan blue dye is added to a cell suspension and… Continue Reading

How to determine mycoplasma contamination?

Mycoplasma contamination is a common occurrence and labs must be vigilant in monitoring and combating contamination issues.  Mycoplasma are bacteria extremely difficult to detect in cultured cells by visual inspection.  Many labs do not incorporate recurring mycoplasma testing until the lab experiences a contamination incident, at which time cleaning and testing procedures are put in… Continue Reading

Even cell distribution in the 6-well plate instead of a ring of cells around the edges?

Performing cell culture experiments in round well plates can often lead to troubling spatial dispersion of the cells.  This can be attributed to culture incubators having high vibrations, non-level incubators or bad practices such as swirling the plate after adding cells.  In order to achieve even distribution of cells in the wells of culture plates,… Continue Reading

Is it necessary to synchronize cells?

Exponentially growing cultured cells are growing at difference cell cycle stages, termed asynchronous.  Scientists are vigilant in their techniques to ensure they are using non-confluent cells prior to their experiments; thus, synchronization is not commonly employed.  However, synchronizing your cells can help improve the results of certain cell based assays such as viral integration or… Continue Reading

Low cell viability due to the freezing or thawing of cancer cell lines

Freeze slow, thaw fast.  The process of freezing and thawing cancer cell lines requires extreme attention to protocol.  For freezing, a good freezing media that contains DMSO is added to the correct number of cells following the manufacturer’s instructions.  The vital part of the freezing process is to ensur that the freezing process is slow. … Continue Reading

Quantitate in vitro anti-proliferation experiments using a metabolic assay (Alamarblue, MTT) vs measuring protein abundance (Sulforhodamine B)

The need to measure cell proliferation effects is vast, including testing the effects of growth factors, novel pharmacological agents, cytotoxicity assessment or investigating cell activation.  Cell proliferation assays utilize a stain or substrate to make a correlation between the readout and the number of remaining cells post-treatment.  However, the means of assessing cell number varies… Continue Reading

What is the benefit of using an electroporation buffer

The process of electroporation exposes the cells to a high-voltage pulse of electricity to disrupt the phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane causing the formation of temporary pores.  Any charged molecules (e.g. RNA, DNA) are forced into the cells thru the pores. Electroporation buffers are formulations that mimic cellular cytoplasm composition; thus, enhancing pore resealing… Continue Reading

Difference between technical and biological replicates

The basic definitions of technical and biological replicates are as follows: Technical replicates: a test performed on the same sample multiple times; i.e., if there are triplicate non-treated samples, a technical replicate would be testing sample #1 of the non-treated multiple times Biological replicates: a test performed on biologically distinct samples representing an identical time… Continue Reading

What is the best method to detach cultured cells?

Cultured adherent cells routinely need to be detached and collected for counting or passaging.  Detaching cells can be accomplished by either mechanical or enzymatic methods. Mechanical: cell scraping is a good option for cells that are sensitive to trypsin but can cause damage to cells; also can be used when collecting cellular components for western… Continue Reading

What transfection controls do I need to include in my experiment?

Scientists understand the importance of controls in experiment. There are at least three transfection controls that should be included on every transfection plate: a positive control, negative control and non-treated control. Positive Controls Transfecting a positive control ensures that the system being utilized is working and the delivery conditions are optimal.  The results of the… Continue Reading

What is the best antibiotic to use for stable cell selection in mammalian cells?

There is a long list of antibiotics available to researchers when applying selective pressure in the creation of a stable cell line. The choices include zeocin, hygromycin, blasticidin, puromycin and geneticin (G418). Researchers use different antibiotics due to cost or availability in their lab. However, in reference to using antibiotics for the creation of a… Continue Reading

How do I increase transfection efficiency?

Transfection is considered as a major laboratory method to integrate protein, RNA and DNA molecules into tissues and cells. Delivery of plasmid DNA molecules containing gene inserts, messenger RNA and small interfering RNA molecules that regulate gene expression (i.e. microRNA, siRNA) into the primary cells and cancer cell lines have been extensively utilized by scientists.… Continue Reading

Reproductive & Urinary Reference Chart

A study chart for reproductive and urinary system medical abbreviations. Female Reproductive System   Ab, AB abortion AFP alpha fetoprotein ARM, AROM artificial rupture of membranes ART assisted reproductive technology BSE breast self-examination BSO bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy BWS battered woman syndrome C section, CS Cesarean section CVS chorionic villus sampling Cx cervix D&C dilation & curettage… Continue Reading

Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Abbreviation Charts

Endocrine system and gastrointestinal system abbreviation study and reference charts. Endocrine System   AC adrenal cortex ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone ADH antidiuretic hormone CAH congenital adrenal hyperplasia DI diabetes insipidus DKA diabetic ketoacidosis DM diabetes mellitus FSH follicle-stimulating hormone GH growth hormone HCG human chorionic gonadotropin HGF human growth factor ICSH interstitial cell-stimulating hormone IDDM insulin-dependent… Continue Reading

Nervous & Respiratory Systems

A medical reference and study chart for the nervous and respiratory systems. Nervous System   Ach acetylcholine AD Alzheimer disease, Alzheimer dementia ADD attention deficit disorder ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ALD adrenoleukodystrophy ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig disease) aanesth, anes anesthesia ANS autonomic nervous system BAER brainstem auditory evoked response BBB blood-brain barrier… Continue Reading

Medical Profession Abbreviations

A reference chart of professional designations in the medical field. ARNP Advaced Registered Nurse Practitioner ATR-BC Registered Art Therapist-Board Certified CCT Certified Cardiographic Technician CDA Certified Dental Assistant CDT Certified Dental Technician CMA Certified Medical Assistant CNMT Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist CO Certified Orthotist COMT Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist COT Certified Ophthalmic Technician COTA Certified… Continue Reading