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FIRST BLOG POST OF THE NEW YEAR:)

Comparison of 2D and 3D cell culture models for cell growth, gene expression and drug resistance

In vitro drug screening is widely used in the development of new drugs, because they constitute a cost-effective approach to select compounds with more potential for therapy. They are also an attractive alternative to in vivo testing. However, most of these assays are done in two-dimensional culture models, where cells are grown on a polystyrene or glass flat surface. In order to develop in vitro models that would more closely resemble physiological conditions, three-dimensional models have been developed. Here, we introduce two novel fully synthetic scaffolds produced using the polymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB): a Solvent-Casting Particle-Leaching (SCPL) membrane; and an electrospun membrane, to be used for 3D cultures of B16 F10 murine melanoma cells and 4T1 murine breast cancer cells. A 2D cell culture system in regular tissue culture plates and a classical 3D model where cells are grown on a commercially available gel derived from Engelbreth-Holm Swarm (EHS) tumor were used for comparison with the synthetic scaffolds. Cells were also collected from in vivo tumors grown as grafts in syngeneic mice. Morphology, cell viability, response to chemotherapy and gene expression analysis were used to compare all systems. In the electrospun membrane model, cells were grown on nanometer-scale fibers and in the SCPL membrane, which provides a foam-like structure for cell growth, pore sizes varied. Cells grown on all 3D models were able to form aggregates and spheroids, allowing for increased cell-cell contact when compared with the 2D system. Cell morphology was also more similar between 3D systems and cells collected from the in vivo tumors. Cells grown in 3D models showed an increase in resistance to dacarbazine, and cisplatin. Gene expression analysis also revealed similarities among all 3D platforms. The similarities between the two synthetic systems to the classic EHS gel model highlight their potential application as cost effective substitutes in drug screening, in which fully synthetic models could represent a step towards higher reproducibility. We conclude PHB synthetic membranes offer a valuable alternative for 3D cultures.1


Scaffold structures. FESEM micrographs of the different scaffolds studied, (A) EHS gel, (B) electrospun, (C) SCPL membrane. Magnification of 5,000x, scale bar 30 μM. Pore diameter of the different scaffolds, (D) EHS gel, (E) electrospun, (F) SCPL membrane.
Scaffold structures. FESEM micrographs of the different scaffolds studied, (A) EHS gel, (B) electrospun, (C) SCPL membrane

1.Julia C. Fontoura, Christian Viezzer, Fabiana G. dos Santos, Rosane A. Ligabue, Ricardo Weinlich, Renato D. Puga, Dyeison Antonow, Patricia Severino, Cristina Bonorino,

Comparison of 2D and 3D cell culture models for cell growth, gene expression and drug resistance,

Materials Science and Engineering: C,

Volume 107,

2020,

110264,

ISSN 0928-4931,

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2019.110264.

(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928493119305934)