Nano3D Biosciences sells the Bio-Assembler™ kit that grows three-dimensional (3-D) cells in 24 to 48 hours. The cells are first tagged with magnetic nanoparticles, then levitated by a magnet field to grow in three dimensions, as described in Nature Nanotechnology in April 2010. This method for growing 3-D cell cultures is faster than competing products, which take weeks, according to the company.
Standard tissue culture cells grow in flat two-dimensions, and “gene expression and signaling are different from that found in vivo,” says Glauco Souza, Ph.D., CSO. The Bio-Assembler allows co-culturing of different cell types, and it supports the growth of 25 different cell lines. Researchers can use the kit for basic research, drug discovery, toxicity testing, and stem cell and regenerative medicine.
The starter Bio-Assembler kit contains a single microwell and a device that creates a magnetic field. A six-well plate system is undergoing beta testing, and a 96-well plate is in development. The 96-well format will support high-throughput screening and allow toxicity testing in cells that represent in vivo conditions.
In the long-term, the technology could create 3-D tissue for regenerative medicine. “It all starts with a fundamental building block of a better representation of living tissue,” says David Lee, president and CEO.