BioTime?s family of HyStem hydrogels are derived from hyaluronic acid (HA), a ubiquitous component of natural ECM. HA is uniquely qualified for use as a 3D culture platform, as it is specifically recognized by cells via the CD44 and RHAMM receptors (unlike PEG, alginate, or other biopolymers), and can be selectively degraded by the hyaluronidases characteristic of invasive cancers. Custom peptides and growth factor depots are easily added, and all variations of the core HyStem product are well-suited for high-throughput dispensers. BioTime?s ongoing collaboration with cancer researchers at Rice University will accelerate the following The envisioned resulting product from this Phase I proposal will be a reliable, turnkey representation of the tumor microenvironment that can be integrated immediately into the workflows of academic and pharmaceutical drug developers. For patients, the product represents a step closer to the vision of personalized medicine, and a faster time to market for new drug candidates.