For many years now it has been recognized that growing cells as flat mono-layers, while simple and convenient, presents many challenges for life scientists. Experimental data generated by studying cells unable to naturally interact with other cells can be of questionable value. With recent advances in material science and the unrelenting drive by life scientists to develop models that better mimic the in vivo experience of a cell, many new products have been brought to market that claim to offer 3-D cell culture.
When typical adherent cells are cultured today on standard cell culture plasticware, almost 50% of the cell is in contact with a polystyrene surface and almost 50% is in contact with cell culture media. This is in stark contrast to the in vivo environment where the surface of each cell is in almost total contact with other cells and extracellular matrix proteins. This complex cellular structure and arrangement is obviously vital to normal cellular function and response to external stimuli.
Reinnervate’s alvetex 3-D cell culture scaffold has been specifically designed to solve the problems of standard 2-D cell culture. Alvetex offers cells a support where they can grow and form a 3-D structure that closely mimic their native environment. Growing inside alvetex, cells are seen to display a more native morphology and this improved cell structure has been demonstrated to lead to improved cellular functionality.
The benefits of using Alvetex for 3-D cell culture include:
- accurately mimics in vivo cellular environment ensuring biologically relevant experimental data,
- enables cells to maintain their native shape and function,
- enhanced cell viability, responsiveness to other cells, and to responses external stimuli,
- works with primary cells as well as cell lines,
- the inert polystyrene matrix will not degrade over time and is amenable to standard sectioning techniques,
- flexible alvetex formats are compatible with existing reagents, media, and incubators,
- suitable for both short- and long-term in vitro cell growth, and
- very easy to use—start growing cells in 3-D within a few hours.