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A Mechanically Reversible Gel for 3-Dimensional Cell Culture and Tissue Engineering
Ref No: B04221
Research Institute : IBN
Cells proliferating 2-dimensionally on the surface of the culture media are an oversimplification of cell behaviour in in vitro conditions especially for eukaryotic cells. This is because most other eukaryotic cells exist naturally embedded in a 3-D extracellular matrix.
Some technologies have been developed to construct a gel-like culture media that allows 3-D growth of cells. These technologies, however, are mainly based on photocrosslinkable acrylate-based polymers, self-assembled peptides, and matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP) degradable systems. These technologies rely heavily on the use of chemical crosslinkers, photo-initiators, ultraviolet light or a change in ionic strength for cross-linking of gels, conditions which could be detrimental to the cells and proteins in the gel. There is thus the need for a gel which can be reversibly formed by robust and convenient means.
A novel polymer-silica composite gel has been developed that is suitable for both 3-D cell culture and tissue engineering. It is liquefied by vortexing to allow ligands and cells to be added. The gel resets when it is left to stand. Such reversible thixotropic properties are based on the dynamics of Van der Waals forces and thus do not require chemicals or heat.
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