MODELLING IN VIVO CONDITIONS IN VITRO: 3D HYDROGEL SYSTEMS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS
The advantages of peptide hydrogels over other 3D cell culture matrices
Cell culture is an essential tool for the study of cell biology and preclinical biomedical research and has become a vital component of drug screening and toxicity testing in pharmacology research. Over recent years it has been widely acknowledged that 3D cell culture techniques can provide more physiologically-relevant results to more traditional 2D culture systems.
Cell culture models utilising 3D matrices allow individual cells to maintain their normal morphology, allow complex cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, and provides oxygen and nutrient gradients, thereby providing an environment which more closely mimics the natural ECM, promoting the creation of native architecture found in vivo. Such matrices often take the form of hydrogels.
Hydrogels are water-swollen networks of crosslinked polymeric chains (up to 99% water) and have emerged as the most promising option for cell culture since they mimic salient elements of native ECMs and possess mechanics similar to those of many soft tissues.
In this context, both natural and synthetic hydrogels have been investigated extensively for the encapsulation and culture of cells, with both classes providing their own set of advantages and limitations. To achieve the best of both worlds, researchers are turning their attention to synthetic peptide hydrogels as 3D cell culture matrices where a balance of biocompatibility and consistency are possible.
Key Learning Objectives
- How synthetic peptide hydrogels can provide a more physiologically relevant environment in vitro.
- How synthetic peptide hydrogels can be tailored to control cell behaviour
- Understand the advantages of these materials over other 3D cell culture matrices
- The potential of synthetic peptide hydrogels in applications including cancer research, cell-based assays, and regenerative medicine.
- Case studies – The use of synthetic peptide hydrogels to direct stem cell differentiation, to improve cartilage phenotype in 3D culture, and their use in the 3D culture of hepatocytes for the development of an in vitro liver model.
Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University and an Attending Physician, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Cornell campus
Dr. Schwartz is an active physician scientist focused on developing and building models of human liver disease in vitro. His interests include viral hepatitis, autoimmune causes of liver disease, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease as well as metabolic causes of liver disease. He uses stem cell biology, hepatocyte biology and incorporates engineering techniques to better understand human liver disease with the goal to improve clinical therapy. >>
Professor of Cell Engineering (Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology) at the University of Glasgow
Prof. Dalby is a biologist interested in the way that mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow interact with materials. His research interest includes adult stem cell interactions with nanotopography, dynamic (cell responsive) surfaces, 3D hydrogels and growth factors organising interfaces; metabolomics for stem cells; and stem cell mechanotransduction. >>
Chief Executive Officer of Biogelx Limited, former Sales & Marketing Director of Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource, and former Head of Sales & Marketing at Millipore UK
Mr. Scanlan is a business development expert who has successfully driven the commercialization of a range of technology and service companies within the life sciences sector. Mitch has worked for large multinationals, SME’s and start-ups including Millipore, Quintiles, Deloitte, Touche, Sartorius Stedim Biotech, Bioprocessors Corporation, and BioOutsource Limited. In his current role, Mitch works on the business transformation of a Scottish biomaterial SME called Biogelx.