Human organs are 3D, why is your cell culture not?


2D cell cultures have been used since the early 1900s. They have proven to be a valuable method for cell-based studies. 2D cell cultures are relatively inexpensive and provide easy cell observation and measurement for researchers. However, their limitations have been increasingly recognised. 2D cell culture does not adequately consider the natural 3D environment of cells, and as a result can provide misleading data for in-vivo responses, and therefore a lack of predictivity. For instance, in drug development, the standard procedure of screening starts with the 2D cell culture-based test, followed by animal model tests and clinical trials. Only about 10% of drug candidates reach clinical development. Many of them fail during the clinical trials, which is the most expensive stage of the drug development process.

To eliminate the risk of such failures and to provide more physiologically-relevant cell-based models, scientists have put tremendous effort into the development of a variety of 3D culture systems. These are now being increasingly adopted in drug discovery, cancer cell biology, stem cell study, engineered functional tissues for implantation, and other cell-based analysis. The 3D culture systems are more relevant cell models. They represent more accurately the actual microenvironment in which cells reside in tissues. They can more realistically mimic the in-vivo cell behaviour and therefore provide a more predictable data for in-vivo tests. 


The scaffold is a vital part of the 3D culture system.

In 2D culture cells are grown in a monolayer on glass or, more commonly, tissue culture polystyrene plastic flasks. Whilst in 3D cell culture, cells are formed into 3D aggregates/spheroids using a scaffold/matrix. Widely used scaffold/matrix materials include biologically-derived scaffold systems and synthetic-based materials.

The biologically-derived scaffolds are biocompatible and have a good biomimetic functionality. However, they can pose issues with limited mechanical tunability and reproducibility of results. The synthetic-based materials, compared to the biologically-derived systems, provide more consistency, and do not contain remaining growth factors and viruses which can increase batch-to-batch variability. The latest 3D cell culture tools, such as peptide hydrogels allow the formation of scaffolds that match the desired stiffness found in the tissue in vivo.


Simplicity, reproducibility, and control with peptide hydrogels

Biogelx’s new generation of 3D culture systems is based on a ‘two peptide’ system: a hydrophobic ‘gelator’ peptide, and a hydrophilic ‘surfactant’ peptide which aids cell attachment. These peptides self-assemble in water to form a hydrogel matrix.” Our hydrogel technology is compatible with 384-well plat and automated liquid handling systems, is of low cost per well, and has the potential ot provide more predictive results for preclinical screening. Our gels are biocompatible and enhance stem cell potential by providing the dynamic interface that naturally occurs between the stem cells and the extra cellular matrix (ECM). We provide more than just a 3D structure for you. We offer :

  • The simplicity of non-animal derived peptide composition that provides biocompatibility, consistency and eliminates the limitation of batch variation.
  • Abilityto tune the mechanical properties of the microenvironment to achieve highly accurate, more realistic cell behaviour for cancer and stem cell research.
  • Controlover the stiffness and strength of the hydrogel to mimic specific tissues, such as liver, skin, bone, and cartilage.

Biogelx’ new product range includes functionalized gels that incorporate relevant biomimetic peptide sequences from proteins such as fibronectin, laminin, and collagen. The ability to incorporate such functionality allows Biogelx hydrogels to provide totally synthetic yet biologically-relevant alternatives to animal-derived 3D matrices such as Matrigel and collagen.

We also have the capability to provide customized gels to suit your needs, allowing customers to utilize our expertise in the design and development of gels containing tissue-specific functionality.

Try our new generation 3D Culture Systems at discount price. Our special offer is available until 31thof December 2018.


Related Articles:

Cells behave differently in a 3D environment

Do you want to upgrade your research with 3D Cell Culture matrices?

Not all 3D Cultures are Created Equally – Which is the best one for you?

De-risk the 3D switch: A guide to Biogelx’s Discovery Kit



Try each of our hydrogels, and identify the one which provides the best environment for your cells.

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