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hTBEC TECHNOLOGY

We are overcoming the limitations of taste biology by using

human taste bud epithelial cell (hTBEC) platforms and hTBEC-driven bioassays. These taste bud cell cultures have been derived from individuals of diverse ethnic backgrounds, have been characterized both functionally and genetically, and have been a powerful tool for advancing our understanding of taste cell function.

HOW IT WORKS

GENETICS PLAYS A LARGE ROLE IN TASTE PHYSIOLOGY

Humans show substantial differences in taste sensitivity to many different tastants. Some of this variation is known from genetic in origin. hTBEC platforms have been derived from taste buds of donors from various diverse ethnic backgrounds, providing a powerful tool to understand the genetic origins of taste. 

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TASTE RECEPTOR CELLS DEPEND ON CALCIUM SIGNALING TO GENERATE CELLULAR RESPONSES

Calcium signals rely taste information to the central nervous system. We use a state-of-the-art technology to observe these signals in hTBECs in response to tastants in real time. hTBECs responding to saccharin, a sweet ligand, is shown in the movie below. 

TASTE BUDS RELY ON ATP TO ACTIVATE SENSORY NERVES 

Taste buds, the sensory endoorgans of gustation, rely on ATP to activate the sensory nerves innervating the taste buds. Therefore, we have designed, established, and optimized a high-throughput ATP transmitter secretion detection assay using hTBEC cell platforms. The application of this assay to this cell type is novel and aids in the discovery of taste modulators for Food and Biopharmaceutical Industries alike. 

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