3D Cell Culture

Lab testing using today's standard cell culturing tools does not produce results that translate well to clinical testing. This is a fact widely accepted by industry and academia alike. In fact, successful drugs that leave the lab after in vitro testing with positive results fail in vivo testing over 99 % of the time. One of the reasons for this is that the traditional tools we have at our disposal, primarily traditional polystyrene culturing dishes, provide cells with an in vitro environment that doesn’t resemble what cells experience in vivo, yet we expect them to behave naturally.

By adding a third dimension to todays standard flat cell culturing surfaces we provide cells with a more relevant model of their native milieu. Cell culturing in 3D can be realized in a great variety of ways and the increased interest in the field has led to the development of several different techniques over the years. A few examples, include electrospun extra cellular matrices or scaffolds, hanging drop plates, rotating bioreactors, magnetic levitation and micro carriers. Cells grown in these 3D environments (i.e. as multilayers or clusters in suspension, on scaffolds etc.) have been shown to adopt physiological characteristics which resembles the native tissue from which they originate to a greater extent than the same cells grown in traditional two dimensional (2D - i.e. as monolayers), vessels such as culture flasks or multiwell plates. One possible explanation for this is that cells grown in 3D cultures have the possibility to develop a more elaborate extracellular matrix (ECM) and improved intercellular communications, which in turn results in a recovery or maintenance of in vivo functions.

The table below summarizes a few of the major points in which cells cultured in 2D differs from cells cultured in 3D.

2D 3D
Cell morphology Flat and stretched out, typical thickness of ~3 μm. Ellipsoidal shape, typical thickness of 10-30 μm.
Cell interface Approximately 50 % of the surface area is exposed to the culturing medium,
approximately 50 % towards the plastic surface and just a few percent towards other cells.
Close to 100 % of the surface area is exposed to other cells and culturing medium.

Disparities have been shown in the following areas:

Cell viability, Differentiation, Drug metabolism, Gene- & protein expression, General cell function, In vivo relevance, Mobility, Morphology, Proliferation, Response to stimuli.

For further information about 3D cell culturing and a collection of relevant publications, please visit www.3DCellCulture.com.

3D cell culture products generally belong to one of two categories: scaffold-based- or scaffold free 3D cell culture, and there are advantages and disadvantages associated with both.

Cellevate uses a scaffold-based nanofiber solution that effectively mimics the structure -the collagen and elastin fibers- of the bodys native extracellular matrix (ECM), and is thus a good representation of an in vivo environment. Scaffold characteristics such as fiber alignment, fiber diameters and pore sizes can be specified, along with mechanical properties to further emulate specific sites within the body. The scaffolds porous structure (>80 - 95 %) aids mass transport and exchange of nutrients, oxygen, and wastes allowing for larger culture growth than the scaffold-free alternatives. Furthermore, exchange of cell culture media for longer cell culture experiments is significantly easier in scaffold based 3D cell culture than in scaffold free alternatives. Finally, nanofiber scaffolds are easy to coat with different active compounds such as extracellular matrix proteins to suit your personal experimental needs.

Cellevates nanofiber scaffolds for 3D cell culture are produced through our own patented technique. We have revised the standard electrospinning method used to create most of our competitions products and improved it with regard to scaffold parameter control (and consequently overall fiber quality) and batch-to-batch consistency. Additionally Cellevates products come in a wide range of formats, including but not limited to standard petri dishes, multiwell plates (4-, 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96- and 348 wells), inserts and chamber slides to make sure you find what you need. Finally, all our products are xeno-free unless specifically stated otherwise.

Cellevate 3D™ Scaffolds

Cellevate 3D scaffolds consists of highly porous and consistent networks of biocompatible nanofibers. The fibers provide an environment which effectively mimics the complex surroundings cells experience in their native tissues. Cells in these networks are allowed to proliferate and interact with other cells in three dimensions (3D), in contrast to the monolayer cultures seen on conventional two dimensional (2D) surfaces. This provides life science researchers with more realistic in-vitro models, allowing for more relevant data and successful research which could help reduce the number of drug failures in clinical trials.

Cellevates nanofiber scaffolds holds a depth of 100 μm with pores of 15 to 50 μm. This is thick enough to provide the true benefits of 3D cell morphology and behaviour while maintaining beneficial properties for analytical methods such as fluorescence microscopy.

Learn more about our products here

Cellevates 3D™ Scaffolds are:

  • True 3D micro-environments, not just rugged 2D surfaces.

  • Compatible with standard light/fluorescent microscopy and optically transparent.

  • No special media or reagents are needed.

  • All products are xeno-free.

  • Each plate is shipped sterile and ready to use.


Random or Aligned orientation?

Cellevates 3D™ Scaffolds are available in two distinct fiber orientations, Random or Aligned. Random fiber alignment mimics native decellularized tissue. The aligned fibers provides the cells with a physical structure that resembles the tissue in the central nervous system and heart and skeletal muscle, where cellular orientation can have impact on respective tissue functions.