Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

JUL 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | | JULY 2017 | 11 GEN Are 3D cell culture models only focused on drug safety testing, or are they finding new applications? Dr. Aho The focus of 3D cell culture models has definitely expanded beyond drug safety testing. It is becoming increasingly clear that these models mimic cells in vivo at a greater capacity than traditional cell culture. In addition to drug toxicity, 3D models are progressively being developed and used in developmental biology research, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine. 3D models also provide an enhanced system for drug discovery. Because they better recapitu- late disease in vitro, 3D models have the po- tential to accelerate the testing timeline for drug efficacy studies. Dr. Banks Another major application area of 3D cell culture models is in oncology. Spher- oids in both media and Matrigel (Corning) can be used as surrogate models of tumor proliferation and tumor invasion. Automated brightfield or fluorescence microscopy is typi- cally used for spheroid or invadipodia area measurements. In addition to spheroids, col- lagen-based scaffolds that encourage cell ag- gregation into tumoroids have been used for immunotherapy applications such as natural killer cell cytotoxicity assays. Finally, mag- netic particles have been used to bioprint cells for cell migration and invasion experiments. Dr. Eglen We would argue that 3D cell cul- ture models have been used for many years in basic research and disease modeling, no- tably in cancer research—this was, after all, one of the original applications of Matrigel, a naturally occurring extracellular matrix for us in 3D cell culture. That said, it is true that 3D cell culture models are increasingly being used in preclinical lead optimization, par- ticularly in evaluating potential compound toxicity and metabolic liability. Furthermore, disease research areas are expanding to include neurology, stem cell research, cell therapy, and (potentially) tis- sue engineering. Perhaps the most exciting work is the development of 3D technologies for the optimal production of patient-specific cells, either for compound testing or possibly cell therapy. Interestingly, spheroids derived from stem cells grown in 3D models show improved "stemness," that is, characteristics that may lead to increased efficacy in regenerative medicine. Researchers have seen that spher- oids display enhanced anti-inflammatory, tissue regenerative, and reparative responses, as well as better post-transplant survival of mesenchymal stem cells. Autologous tissue for transplantation may also come from organoids produced via 3D cell culture. For example, renal organoids de- rived from pluripotent stem cells have been successfully transplanted under the renal cap- sules of adult mice. Clearly, research in this area is advancing rapidly, probably due to a convergence of several multidisciplinary fields, ranging from bioengineering, materials sci- ence, phenotypic screening, and cell biology. Dr. Trezise Drug safety continues to be a sig- nificant application area for 3D models. This application area has become only more in- teresting as more data has become available indicating that 3D models offer translational benefits. In addition, there is a growing trend to develop 3D models that can advance de- velopmental biology, target validation, and drug efficacy studies. This trend is particu- larly evident in the field of oncology, where researchers are combining patient-specific tumor cells and 3D cell culture methods to create tumor organoids. These mini-tumors are being used to determine sensitivity to combinations of different chemical, biologi- cal, and cellular therapeutics in the context of personalized medicine. Dr. Klette 3D cell culture models are widely used for drug safety testing, such as studying hepatic injury from compound screens, and for examining drug metabolism using 3D hepatocyte models. In personalized medi- cine, however, patient-derived primary 3D models are being used for cancer screening in biotherapeutics. Here, 3D models provide enhanced physiological relevance to deter- mine drug efficacy and potential impacts on carcinogenesis, metastasis, and tumor reoc- currence. If we look outside drug discovery and biologics, we notice that areas such as regenerative medicine and cell therapies can take advantage of 3D models as a predictor of disease and (when scaled to therapeutic levels) as a disease treatment. See Roundup on page 13 Drug Discovery What if... BioResearch /primary-cells ©2017 Lonza. All trademarks belong to Lonza or its affiliates. The information contained herein is believed to be correct. No warranty is made, either expressed or implied. Solving Today's Primary Cell Culture Challenges For more than 30 years, researchers have been relying on Lonza for consistent product quality and excellent support to overcome their cell culture challenges. We can't help you get a million likes, but we can help you get cells from different donors, develop a new 3D model, or set up a co-culture. By partnering with Lonza for primary cells, you get access to: – A brand well-recognized by leading scientific journals – Over 20 donors for many cell types, including normal and diseased cells – Optimized growth media for each cell type – User-friendly protocols and publications – A scientific support team cross-trained in cells, media and 3D culture Learn the benefits of primary cells. Request a free copy of our infographic on our website. Skeletal Muscle Cells and Media … I could get more donors for my cells? … I could get expert tech support with the cells I buy? … my selfie from last night's party gets a million "likes"?

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