Obatala Sciences™ is a New Orleans biotech company that offers research enabling products and brain power to scientists in industry and academia with the goal of advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

We are a team of thought leaders with the common goal of advancing our mission: promoting diversity to advance the study and prevention of diseases in the field of obesity, diabetes, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.


Driving Diversity in Research. Impacting the Future.

We are currently working with research institutions across the globe to advance tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. We have developed the first human-derived hydrogel for 2D and 3D cell culture which can be applied in various organ-on-a-chip models. We also offer the highest quality mesenchymal stem cells and culture reagents on the market. Our fat-on-a-chip platform and supporting products offer researchers a new, more accurate way of modeling human fat tissue in-vitro.

Extracellular Matrix Solutions

Optimize your science with ObaGel®

Obatala Sciences™ offers the first commercially available human derived 3D culture scaffold, ObaGel®. ObaGel® is an innovative product designed to overcome the translational barrier between animal models and clinical response.

ObaGel® enables researchers to use all human derived products in their research and better replicate in vivo response in vitro.

Place your order online or contact our dedicated research team to identify the appropriate service contract. We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure the highest level of scientific rigor and customer satisfaction.

For 3D and 2D culture work using ObaGel®, we also recommend using ObaVate™.

Before Seeding with ObaGel®

After Seeding with ObaGel®

When cultured in ObaGel®, Cells remodel the polymerized matrix and form mature fat cells with spaces that contain lipid droplets. These images are cryo-scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) images of ObaGel® alone (left) and seeded with stromal vascular fraction cells (right).

Better – ONLY Human-Derived commercial matrix

Faster – Enables faster indicators of human response


  • Source

  • Integration into Workflow

  • Cell Recovery

  • Visualization

  • Spheroid Culture


  • Human derived

  • Easily manipulated

  • Cell recovery consistently above 90% in 3D system

  • Highly transparent, easily imaged

  • Self-assembly, no additional methods

Industry Competitors

  • Animal derived

  • Overly complex methods required

  • Inconsistent, <90%

  • Often times difficult to characterize structure, problems with opacity and autofluorescence

  • Requires culturing to create spheroid

ObaGel® Companion Products

  • ObaVate™ is the activation agent for ObaGel™. It allows for fine tuning of ObaGel® to meet specific experimental criteria, i.e. 3D or 2D culture.

  • ObaZolve™ enables the recovery of cells cultured on ObaGel®. We have seen over 90% recovery after a 21 day culture!

  • ObaFlow™ allows for Flow Cytometry analysis of cells that have been cultured in ObaGel™ in 3D culture.

Our protocols have more information about how to use these products.





Gender and age-related cell compositional differences in C57BL/6 murine adipose tissue stromal vascular fraction.




Optimize your science with ObaGel® ECM

ObaGel ECM® is a comprehensive human-derived hydrogel that supports the growth and differentiation of multiple cell types in 2D and 3D formats.

Place your order online or contact our dedicated research team to identify the appropriate service contract. We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure the highest level of scientific rigor and customer satisfaction.

A) Proliferation of ASC cultured in ObaGel® ECM over 7 days quantified by alamarBlue assay.

B) Confocal images showing ASC cultured in ObaGel® ECM and maintained with StromaQual™ for 32 days. Fixed in 10% netural buffered formalin and stained with Hoechst 33342 (blue) and Alexa Fluor Phalloidin 594 (red). Scale bar = 100μm

ObaGel® ECM Properties

  • Human-derived multi-protein complex hydrogel for 2D and 3D applications
  • Range of protein content: 35-45mg/ml
  • Provides native growth factors and ECM for growth of a variety of human cell lines
  • Greater matrix stiffness and scaffold integrity compared to ObaGel®:ObaVate

Optimize your science with ObaGel® Coating

ObaGel Coating® is a comprehensive human-derived cell basement membrane matrix that supports the culture and expansion of multiple cell types. ObaGel® Coating provides a superior culture surface compared to tissue culture plastic or fibronectin coatings. This extracellular matrix encourages high density cell attachment and faster doubling times of primary cell types such as ASCs and HUVECs.

Place your order online or contact our dedicated research team to identify the appropriate service contract. We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure the highest level of scientific rigor and customer satisfaction.

700 µg/ml protein

350 µg/ml protein

No Coating

ASC – Day 1

HUVECs – Day 7

Figure 1. ASC and HUVECs seeded on 2D XGel Coating. a. Adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASC) were seeded at 25,000 cells per well of a 24-well plate. These images were taken <24 hours post seeding and demonstrate an increase in the number of cells attached to the surface when the coating is present. b. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) cultured on ObaGel® coating (700 ug/ml and 350 ug/ml) and tissue culture plastic, stained with Alexa Fluor Phalloidin and Hoechst 33342 on day 7.

ObaGel® ECM Properties

  • Human-derived protein surface coating
  • Provided at 700 ug/ml protein concentration
  • Enhances cell attachment and proliferation
  • Increases retention of cells over culture maintenance
  • Provides native ECM for attachment of human cell lines
  • Supports adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation
  • Supports expansion through several passages of primary cell types



What is ObaGel®?

ObaGel is the first commercially available human-derived 3D culture scaffold. ObaGel is a comprehensive human-blood derived 3D cell culturing matrix that supports the development of robust human tissue-like responses from multiple cell types. ObaGel is used to support and maintain functional characteristics such as proliferation, differentiation, vascularization, and immunogenic responses that are superior to the traditional methods of pre-clinical drug development, which includes 2D culture and single-source or single-protein matrix-based cell culture.

Its companion products include:

  • ObaVate™ – nutrient-rich stabilization reagent

  • ObaZolve™ – gel dissolution reagent

  • StromaQual3D™ – maintenance and growth medium for 3D cultures

  • AdipoQual3D™ – growth and adipogenic differentiation medium for 3D cultures

In what conditions will ObaGel become a gel?

The biomechanical properties of ObaGel change as a function of temperature and cell metabolism.  The cells release enzymes that process the ObaGel proteins, allowing them to cross link and develop a 3-dimensional architecture at 37ºC.  At 4ºC to room temperature, ObaGel will remain liquid.

How long does ObaGel take to solidify? Will it dry out if I leave it in 37ºC degrees?

Gel solidification occurs within 15-30 minutes at 37ºC, and solidification continues over the course of 24hr as the cells further contribute to cross linking. Humidity can be maintained for long term cultures with media supplementation. Additionally, we recommend leaving peripheral wells empty to avoid edge effects, or filling peripheral wells with media. Similarly, for seeding dome cultures (<100uL into large diameter dishes), we recommend adding media ~6hr post-seeding to prevent the cultures from drying overnight.

How can I modify the gelation time for my application?

ObaGel can support 3D cultures by itself, but we recommend mixing it with ObaVate for consistent gelation within 15-30 minutes.

How can I modify the consistency of the gel?

Material properties of the matrix can be tuned by changing the ratio of ObaGel to ObaVate. See our protocols on 3D and 2D culture for more information.

Does ObaGel contribute to cell viability?

ObaGel is a very nutrient-rich matrix and encourages cell proliferation and viability. In our laboratory, we see 90-95% cell viability in our static 3D ASC cultures.

What are the storage conditions for ObaGel?

ObaGel can be stored at 4ºC for up to 48hr, -20ºC for <3 months, and -80ºC for up to 1 year. In general, we recommend limiting the number of freeze-thaw cycles. We encourage customers to thaw ObaGel overnight at 4C (do not warm rapidly) and aliquot prior to use.

I noticed that there is a cloudy precipitant in my ObaGel after thawing. Is this normal?

Yes, this is normal. It is due to the protein content in the gel, and the proteins tend to clump post-thawing. We recommend pipetting the solution multiple times to break up any large clumps of protein and create a homogenous resuspension. Do not vortex, as this will cause the proteins to further aggregate and may result in a protein deficient product.

Are your products’ raw materials procured under IRB approval?

Yes, all of our human-derived products are acquired via informed consent. We use the Western IRB for approval of our acquisition process. If you have specific questions, please contact us.


How should I store ObaGel?

ObaGel should be stored in a -80ºC freezer for storage periods of >3 months (shelf life, up to 1 year).  If you plan to use the product within < 3 months, it can be safely stored at -20ºC. If you plan to use the ObaGel™ immediately, transfer to a 4ºC refrigerator for at least 24hr prior to use to allow it to thaw properly.

How should I store the ObaVate?

ObaVate should be stored separately from ObaGel. ObaVate will be stable at 4ºC for up to 4 weeks, <3months at -20C and up to 2 years at -80ºC.

How do I thaw ObaGel?

Thaw ObaGel overnight by transferring from -20ºC or -80ºC freezer to 4ºC. On day of seeding/usage, place ObaGel™ on ice for extended use or to reduce exposure to elevated environmental temperature. Note: The ObaGel™ product is temperature sensitive.  If you were to warm it up to 37ºC, you will inactivate its gelling properties.  Therefore, do not allow the thawed product’s temperature to exceed room temperature (20º to 25ºC).

How do I prepare ObaGel-ObaVate solution for culture?

The solution ratio will vary depending on your intended usage. See our protocols for specific information.  

How do I create a 3D constructs with ObaGel?

See Protocol 301 – How to create 3D cultures with ObaGel.

How do I seed cells in ObaGel?

See Protocol 301 – How to create 3D cultures with ObaGel.

Thaw ObaGel and ObaVate overnight by transferring products from a -80ºC freezer to 4ºC. On the day of seeding, do not allow products to exceed room temperature. We recommend storing reagents on ice for prolonged handling. Prepare ObaGel™-ObaVate™ solution by mixing ObaVate™ with ObaGel™ at desired ratios. Re-suspend the desired cells in ObaGel™-ObaVate™ solution at a concentration of at least 5×10^5 cells per mL. Take the cell/ObaGel™ mixture and plate into the culture dish of choice. Transfer plates to a humidified 5% CO2 incubator at 37ºC for 6-12 hours.

What’s the maximum cell number that can be loaded in the gel without affecting gel polymerization?

The maximum cell number that can be loaded without impacting gel polymerization is 2 million cells per mL.

What is the feeding and maintenance protocol for ObaGel 3D constructs?

See Protocol 301 – How to create 3D cultures with ObaGel.

We recommend feeding the 3D constructs at least once per week (every 7 days) with at least 25% of the initial seeding volume. Over time the gel-supplemented media evaporates (a small volume) similar to evaporation of 2D culture medium; however, a small volume remains in liquid form on top of the gels. To maintain the cultures, remove the spent media from each cultured 3-dimensional construct by aspiration from the top corner of the well via 1 mL micropipette by tilting the plate towards you. Replace the spent media with fresh 3D media.

Can I use ObaGel in coating applications?

Yes, ObaGel can be used for a variety of coating applications. See our protocols for specific information.  

How do I harvest my cells from ObaGel?

To harvest your cells from ObaGel™ you will need to purchase ObaZolve™ and ObaFlow™. Apply ObaZolve to each well in your plate (1:1 ratio with ObaGel™-ObaVate™) and incubate at 37ºC until ObaGel™ dissolves. Collect ObaGel + cells mixture in a conical tube, centrifuge, and resuspend in an appropriate volume of ObaFlow or StromaQual, depending on your experiment’s endpoints.

For more details, refer to Protocol 303 – How to Isolate cells from ObaGel™ with ObaZolve.


How much ObaGel and ObaVate should I purchase for my experiments?

We recommend purchasing 5mL ObaGel and 15mL ObaVate per 96-well plate set up. See our protocols for specific information regarding recommended culture volumes and additional reagents. 

What method do you recommend for cell lysis for RNA extraction and western blotting?

Some polysaccharide-rich components may interfere with RNA extraction. For RNA extraction, we recommend an acid-guanidinium based reagent, such as Trizol. It will enable breakdown of the cellular components in a manner conducive to RNA extraction. For western-blotting we recommend a variation of RIPA buffer with the addition of protease/phosphatase inhibitors, depending on the protein of interest. We have been able to run extensive proteomics without the need for the addition of these inhibitors in the past.

Is ObaGel compatible with my imaging and staining applications?

ObaGel is imaging compatible. We do not have issues with background staining and non-specific staining, unlike other 3D matrix products. See our protocols for information regarding recommended staining and fixation methods. If you have questions regarding your specific applications, please contact us.

I have a unique and interesting application for how to use ObaGel, and I have a few questions regarding my experimental parameters. Can you help?

Of course, please contact us! Our team of scientists would be more than willing to assist in protocol development and optimization to enable your research.



ObaCell® Adipose-on-a-Chip for Drug Discovery

ObaCell® Adipose-On-A-Chip White Paper



Modeling Diseases with ObaCell® Adipose-on-a-Chip

Engineering 3D hydrogels suitable for disease modeling has become widely desired by the scientific community. The potential of mimicking the physiological microenvironment of tissues and diseases in vitro gives way to the further development of treatments and diagnostic tools to improve personalized medicine. Many scientific groups have already developed 3D models representing the liver, brain, skin, lung, and other tissues. Obatala Sciences™ is contributing to these innovative efforts by providing the scientific community with ObaCell®, a fat-on-a-chip tissue model. The understanding of the biochemistry of adipose tissue (fat) has become more extensive in the last few decades. Early definitions of adipose tissue describe it as an inert tissue whose primary function is to store excess energy. However, it is now understood that, besides the energy storage role, adipose tissue plays an important role in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis. Additionally, adipose tissue is now considered an active endocrine tissue due to its involvement in cell function regulation. As an endocrine tissue, adipose tissue influences the response of a variety of tissues including the liver, hypothalamus, skeletal muscle, immune system and others. To add to the complex nature of adipose tissue, current research has revealed that fat comprises of a heterogeneous group of cells including adipocytes, stromal vascular fraction (SVF), endothelial cells, pericytes, blood cells, and many others. The dynamic role of adipose tissue deserves more attention due to its crucial involvement with other organs and its ability to contribute to the development of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, and their associated comorbidities.


Human Adipose Derived Cells in Two- And Three-Dimensional Cultures: Functional Validation of an In Vitro Fat Construct. Stem Cells Int. 2020 Jun 10
Fat-on-a-Chip Models for Research and Discovery in Obesity and Its Metabolic Co-Morbidities Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2020 Mar 26.

3D Spheroids Derived from Human Lipedema ASCs Demonstrated Similar Adipogenic Differentiation Potential and ECM Remodeling to Non-Lipedema ASCs In Vitro. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8350
Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells Retain Their Adipocyte Differentiation Potential in Three-Dimensional Hydrogels and Bioreactors. Biomolecules. 2020 Jul; 10(7): 1070.
Proteomic characterization of a trauma-based rat model of heterotopic ossification identifies interactive signaling networks as potential therapeutic targets. J Proteomics. 2020 Jul 21;103907
Non-toxic freezing media to retain the stem cell reserves in adipose tissues. Cryobiology. Accepted 16 July 2020, Available online 17 July 2020.
Shining a new light onto adipose stromal/stem cells. Acta Physiologica. 09 July 2020
Cutaneous Wound Healing in Aged, High Fat Diet-Induced Obese Female or Male C57BL/6 Mice. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Apr 15
Naringenin Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Rate: A Case Study. J Med Food. 2020 Mar;23(3):343-348.
Safety of Human Adipose Stromal Vascular Fraction Cells Isolated With a Closed System Device in an Immunocompetent Murine Pressure Ulcer Model. Stem Cells Dev. 2020 Apr 1
Safety and efficacy of human adipose-derived stromal/stem cell therapy in an immunocompetent murine pressure ulcer model. Stem Cells and Development, January 17, 2020
Arguments for a Different Regulatory Categorization and Framework for Stromal Vascular Fraction. Stem Cells and Development, January 6, 2020


Adipose-derived stromal cells promote allograft tolerance induction. Stem Cells Translational Medicine vol. 3 pg. 1444-1450
Glycemic control is impaired in the evening in prediabetes through multiple diurnal rhythms. Journal of Diabetes and Its Complicationsvol. 28 pg. 836-843
Human adipose-derived stromal/stem cell isolation, culture, and osteogenic differentiation. Methods in Enzymology vol. 538 pg. 67-68



Working with Obatala Sciences™

Obatala Sciences™ offers contract research services to laboratories in industry and in academia. Our clients include US government entities, contract research organizations, non-profit organizations and academic research laboratories. Our in-house research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Our research areas include obesity, diabetes, energy metabolism, obesity-related disorders, cancer, musculoskeletal system biology, wound healing and regenerative medicine. We offer primary cell isolation and expansion services for regenerative medicine applications, wound healing models (pressure injury) and murine cell-based therapy and other small animal studies within the regenerative medicine space.

In Vitro

Obatala® offers in vitro studies in 2D and 3D systems. Obatala’s 3D cell culture system, ObaCell®, consists of setting up the systems with our proprietary human-derived hydrogel, ObaGel®. Customers can request in vitro studies be performed solely in 2D or 3D culture or in both of our cell culture systems. Our cell culture services include cell isolation and expansion in 2D or 3D systems from tissues that are internally available at Obatala (human adipose, bone marrow, bone, or placenta) or from human- or animal-derived tissues provided by the customer. In addition to the isolation and expansion in our different cell culture systems, Obatala can perform lineage specific differentiation of cells, staining of cells and quantification of the staining if desired..

In Vivo

Additionally, Obatala offers in vivo studies in different animal models in a variety of animal species. Our most popular animal model is the pressure ulcer model in C57Bl/6 mice (see our white paper about this model here), but we also offer animal models to study skin diseases/injuries, diabetes, cranial defects, and bone repair. Obatala is also ready to work with its customers to develop in vivo studies that will be appropriate for their research purposes.


Obatala Sciences Scientific team had decades of experience in research and stays up to date with current best practices and required certifications and trainings. In addition, all animal studies are performed only after protocol review and approval by an independent, academically run Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). All studies involving de-identified human clinical tissue specimens are performed under protocols reviewed and approved by an independent Institutional Review Board.

Available Assays

Cell Selection/Enrichment: Obatala offers magnetic bead-based selection/enrichment of cells. Customers can opt to select/enrich the desired cells using Obatala’s validated panel of surface markers or provide information on the desired markers they wish to use. 

Flow Cytometry: Obatala offers flow cytometry analysis for all in vitro or in vivo studies that involve cell culture in either 2D or 3D systems. Obatala’s expertise involves performing analyses for stromal vascular cells (SVFs) and adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs); thus, our customers can choose flow cytometry analysis following ASC or SVF cell surface marker panels or request their own desired markers for analysis. In addition, Obatala can offer antigen expression analysis for an additional fee. These services can be adapted to any cell type and specie of origin as required by Obatala’s clients.

Gene Expression: Obatala offers gene expression analysis for all in vitro or in vivo studies. Customers can choose to include analyses with polymerase chain reaction, DNA isolation, or RNA isolation analyses in their studies.

Histology: Obatala offers the option to perform histology if the customer is performing in vivo studies or providing tissue for cell isolation/expansion. Customers can request that their samples be returned to them as paraffin embedded blocks, fresh frozen samples, or stained/unstained slides. Obatala offers immunohistochemical or immunofluorescence staining of slides.

Microscopy: Obatala offers a variety of microscopy services that include phase contrast, fluorescent, or confocal microscopy. All of Obatala’s microscopes are equipped with cameras able to take microscopy pictures for qualitative or quantitative analyses.

Protein Expression: Obatala offers proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry of cells and tissue samples. Additionally, we offer targeted proteomic analysis focused on Adipokine and Cytokine expression.

Functionality: Obatala offers functionality endpoint analyses to customers studying different disease models. These include but are not limited to glucose uptake, lipolysis and cell mitochondrial activity

Analysis of Data: Obatala offers analyses of the results of all endpoints selected by the customer. Alternatively, customers can select for only the raw data to be reported. Analyses of data include image analysis using different quantification software, such as Cell Profiler and Image J. If the customer selects for the analysis of the resulting data, the data will be presented in a final report prepared by the Obatala research team.

Our Process

We work collaboratively with our clients to ensure the highest level of scientific rigor and customer satisfaction. This checklist can be a starting point for designing an experiment or you can contact us

Fat-On-a-Chip Model

ObaCell® is a great tool for disease modeling and drug screening. We can provide data in various areas depending on your interest.


We can measure changes in proteins expressed as well as those secreted.


If a biomarker is expressed at a genomic level and it is not abundantly expressed in the conditioned medium, we can digest our fat-on-a-chip and analyze gene expression

Adipokine Secretion

We can look at any adipokine of interest and any other markers of safety that you are interested in.


We can measure endpoints such as glucose uptake and lipolysis at various timepoints giving an indicator of adipose tissue functionality.

Product Literature