How 3D cell culturing is revolutionizing the fields of disease modeling and regenerative medicine

How 3D cell culturing is revolutionizing the fields of disease modeling and regenerative medicine

What are the benefits of 3D cell culture?

The development of lifelike 3D bone environments represents a good example of how 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the future of medicine, yielding advances in biotechnology and drug development. Especially, with the capacity to overcome the shortcomings and drawbacks of conventional 2D cellular models and animal models, 3D cell culture systems show huge potential in regenerative medicine and disease modeling.

Until now, drug screening has primarily been performed via 2D cell lines or in animal experiments, typically performed in mice. In vivo animal testing is currently required to document the safety and efficacy of a treatment in a living organism. However, animal models are time-, labor-, and resource intensive and are not always a reliable way to predict how drug treatments will affect humans. Meanwhile, the traditional two-dimensional cell culture models, widely used for in vitro research, do not accurately mimic the cellular environments of human tissues or physiology. Namely, because the cells in our body do not grow flat in a monolayer with bulk concentrations of nutrients, cytokines and cell signaling substances.

3D cell culture systems, on the other hand, are better and more reliable research models as they maintain the cell-to-cell interaction as well as the cell-to-matrix interaction.
Accordingly, one disruptive driver of switching to 3D techniques from conventional methods is the possible reduction in researchers’ reliance on in vivo animal models to obtain relevant data. Reducing the use of in vivo animal testing, owing to the relevant and predictive data from 3D cellular models, may consequently reduce the costs and time needed to get new human therapeutics into the clinic.

3D cell cultures can be grown on scaffolds that offer an environment which allows cells to follow their own genetic instructions to self-organize and form 3D structures like they would inside the body.

Such an optimal environment for natural cell development and migration is offered by 3D cell growth support structures, or solid support matrices. These structures allow researchers to 3D culture tiny versions of different human tissues, using human cells, which can then be used to simulate in vivo mechanisms and therapeutic responses.


3D cell culture systems may heighten our knowledge of bone cancer pathology

Bone cancer is one of a wide variety of diseases that can affect our bones. Yet, a good model to understand the pathology of primary bone cancer has been lacking.

In cancer drug screening, 2D monolayer cell cultures do not successfully mimic the histoarchitecture of the primary bone cancer or the genetic landscape of the bone tumor.

3D cell culture systems, such as the P3D Scaffolds, provide a more accurate replica of the bone composition and stiffness of the human tissue. This, in consequence, facilitates a more realistic cell growth and enables a better understanding of the complex biology in a physiologically relevant context.

The P3D Scaffolds are furthermore ideal for developing realistic disease models for studying a variety of diseases and pathological conditions, such as bone tumors. By mimicking the in vivo environment of tumors and the interplay between the tumor and the host environment, 3D cell culture systems allow for accurate assessments of the efficacy of drug candidates in cancer patients.

Such an advancement in the accuracy of in vitro research is of great importance as it allows researchers to succeed or fail faster than they do with 2D cultures, thereby increasing the effectiveness of their research.


Bringing natural bone environments to the lab

Ossiform’s P3D Scaffolds are lifelike bone environments made from β-tricalcium phosphate using a proprietary 3D printing process. The unique structures are 3D printed with porosities to mimic the complex porous structure observed in human bones tissues.

The result is a cell growth support structure and tissue model that yields predictive research models of human biology. The scaffolds provide a clinically relevant system that allows life science researchers to perform relevant and accurate cellular environment investigations.

While the P3D Scaffolds are not certified for use in humans, they can be used for a wide range of pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo research studies in the fields of tissue engineering, cell culture, microbial culture, bone grafts, disease modeling, therapy testing, and for relevant research and development purposes.