Cell culture models using 2D substrates have provided important conceptual advances in understanding the biology of cells. However, cells grown on flat 2D surfaces can differ substantially from physiological environments. Animal models provide a useful tool to study biology in a physiologically relevant environment. However, animals models are expensive, time-consuming, use a significant amount of test material, and do not always provide a useful extrapolation to humans. In vitro 3D cell culture models bridge the gap between the two, allowing the study of human cells in a physiologically-relevant environment with the convenience and speed of an in vitro model. [Read more…]
The Alvetex®Scaffold is a novel substrate that enables a solution for simple and routine 3D culture. It is composed of a highly porous polystyrene scaffold that has been engineered into a 200 micron thick membrane to enable entry of cells and efficient exchange of gases and solutes. Cells enter the fabric of the scaffold, retain their natural 3D structure, and form close 3D interactions with adjacent cells. Unlike conventional 2D culture, cells in Alvetex®Scaffold do not grow as monolayers and do not undergo the flattened shape transition that can result in aberrant changes to gene and protein expression and consequently cellular function.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adherent multipotent cells derived from tissue such as bone marrow and which possess the ability to differentiate in vitro into a number of tissue types including bone, cartilage and muscle .
In this post, we demonstrate that MSCs extracted from the bone marrow of adult rats can be successfully cultured in 3D in Alvetex®Scaffold and induced to differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic derivatives more efficiently than their 2D counterparts. We also report bone formation and the production of extracellular matrix by MG63 cells which represent an established cell line derived from a human osteosarcoma. The data generated here is supported by peer-reviewed literature [2,3] and clearly shows that Alvetex®Scaffold promotes enhanced in vitro differentiation. [Read more…]
Nowadays in Cancer research, there is a strong need for three-dimensional (3D) in vitro experimental approaches that mimick as much as possible the in vivo tumour ecosystem. In addition to solving issues related to animal models, these in vitro 3D models allow precise tuning of experimental design when investigating cancer cell biology but also, compound screening and disease modelling. In this post, we’ll take a look at the growth of the popular breast cancer cell line, MCF-7, using Alvetex®Scaffold technology (Reinnervate – a ReproCell company) to create a 3D structure that closely resembles the structure of tumour tissues grown in vivo.
In this published work, Novel Three Dimensional Human Endocervix Cultures respond to 28-day hormone treatment (1) , the authors’ goal was to develop a robust three-dimensional (3D) endocervix model that was a reliable representation of the in vivo tissues and to identify the physiological responses to changing levels of steroid hormones during a 28-day time period. Human endocervical cells were grown on polystyrene scaffolds and the morphologic and hormonal responses of cultured cells were assessed in response to fluctuating levels of estradiol (E2) or progesterone (P4). [Read more…]