Development of 3-dimensional cell culture for integrated modelling of cells and tissues

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Institute of Integrative Biology


3D cell culture allows the study of cells in an in vivo like state, making 3D cell lines a truer reflection of the physiological cell environment. This is due in part to the exposure of the whole cell surface, allowing the activation of signalling pathways and other cellular processes. It is for these reasons that 3D cell lines are preferred when studying processes such as gene expression, apoptosis, drug uptake and drug toxicity.
There are two main types of 3D culture methods: Scaffold techniques (Scaffolds, biomimetic scaffolds and hydrogels) and scaffold-free techniques (bioreactors, magnetic levitation and 3D bioprinting). These cell culture methods allow cells to; behave akin to those in in vivo conditions (in terms of cellular communication and the development of the extracellular matrix), produce a more accurate representation of the cellular composition of tissues and adopt a polarity like in vivo (only achieve partial polarity in 2D). They also allow the study of tumour characteristics such as dormancy, hypoxia and anti-apoptotic behaviour and finally give the cells greater stability and a longer lifespan.
High content screening will be executed in the form of light sheet microscopy; allowing the study of the cells phenotypic response to a variety of factors in 3-dimensions. Light sheet microscopy offers the advantages of reduced photo-bleaching as well as virtually no phototoxic effects permitting imaging for extended time periods. It also allows imaging of the whole sample at sub-cellular resolution making it a powerful tool when performing high content screening of 3D cell cultures.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011186/1 01/10/2015 31/03/2024
1843410 Studentship BB/M011186/1 01/10/2016 30/06/2022 Jonathan Temple