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Small Airway Epithelial Cell Model

A robust, physiologically relevant air-liquid interface (ALI) small airways model comprising all relevant cell types for accurate drug discovery data.

Newcells Biotech’s human small airway epithelial cell (SAEC)  model closely recapitulates the epithelial physiology of the lung.


Derived from small airway basal cells, our SAEC model comprises all the critical epithelial cell types namely basal, club (Clara), goblet and ciliated cells.

With an established epithelial barrier, active mucus production and functional cilia, our air-liquid interface (ALI) SAEC model is an invaluable tool for drug discovery.

Epithelial polarisation in SAEC culture is promoted by the air-liquid interface culture conditions, as shown by ZO1 protein localisation as the cell: cell junctions.

Toxicity assay

This assay offers a series of readouts to assess the toxicity of both single and repeat dosing studies. Using internal assay controls, we provide comprehensive data sets to predict the potential toxicity of therapeutics

Efficacy/target engagement assay

This service allows for testing the effect of therapeutic compounds in a physiologically relevant environment. Our comprehensive assay delivers a full data set to characterise target engagement.

Toxicity Assay - Readouts
  • TEER
  • ATP
  • LDH
  • MTT
Efficacy/Target Engagement Assay - Readouts
  • Gene expression modifications
  • Immunocytochemistry

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Human lung small airway epithelial cell (SAEC) model

A robust, physiologically relevant air-liquid interface (ALI) lung model of the small airways to enable research and drug discovery


Physiologically relevant air-liquid interface (ALI) small airway model


Contains all key lung epithelial cell types


Testing of compounds toxicity on the small airways

Related reading

Model formats

  • Small Airway Epithelial Cell Model
  • 24-well air-liquid interface (ALI) culture

Cell Types

  • Basal cells
  • Club cells
  • Goblet cells
  • Ciliated cells


  • Human

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About Newcells Biotech

Newcells Biotech provides clients with validated in vitro tools to understand how drugs interact with tissues. We enable the generation of robust and informative data to support critical decisions during any stage of drug-development.

We believe that improving the in vitro models available to drug discovery and development scientists is a key method for increasing the efficiency of in-vitro to in-vivo translation and ultimately to delivering new therapies to patients.

By applying our expertise in iPSCs, primary tissues, a deep understanding of cellular physiology and organoid technology, we have built validated models and assays that have proven to be predictive of how drugs interact with tissues and organs.

Office reception

Young innovative company located in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the Northeast of England


A microscope image of a nephron model
ZO-1 Immunocytochemistry staining of PTCs (red) and Hoescht nuclear staining.
A graph showing different levels of creatine uptake
Functional validation of aProximate™ assay-ready plates for transporter assays Functional validation studies for transcellular flux and uptake of creatinine revealed preferential basolateral-to-apical (JBA) creatinine transport, indicative of normal physiological function. A JBA uptake ratio >1.5 indicates that the cells are functional.

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