Magnetlift for 3D cell cultures
Cell cultures are employed as testing systems in pharmaceutical and medical research. The standard approach is to use 2D cultures for this purpose, although most cells are naturally embedded in 3D tissues. The 2D environment, which is unnatural for the cells, can influence their behaviour. In contrast, 3D cultures simulate the natural environment of cells, although they bear a number of deficits. Often, compensating differences in concentration through diffusion is not sufficient to maintain the supply of nutrients such as glucose or salt. Nutrient exchange can be supported by currents. For this purpose, 3D cell cultures are flushed e.g. with the aid of a pumping system, and are then referred to as perfusion cultures. Here, the effort in terms of apparatus and an undesirable breaking off of cells are disadvantages As an alternative, the culture carrier can be mechanically stirred or shaken in the nutrient medium, which however bears the risk of cells being damaged by collisions. A method now developed by the KIT Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) overcomes these disadvantages with a new 3D one-way culture carrier that is moved through the nutrient medium in the culture vessel without contact. The impulse is provided by magnetism: a magnetic 3D culture carrier combined with a special magnetic lift. The culture carrier is based on a hydrogel that is enriched with magnetic nanoparticles. Polymerisation yields a macroporous scaffold structure with magnetic properties. This magnetic scaffold structure enables the cells to settle and be flushed with nutrient medium in a special magnetic lift. For this purpose, a permanent magnet is positioned outside the culture vessel and automatically moves up and down. Triggered by the change in the position of the magnet and the simultaneous movement of the cell culture carrier in the culture vessel, the exchange of soluble nutrients is facilitated. The new process can be applied in parallel and is suitable for the cultivation of different cell lines. KIT is looking for manufacturers of cell culture materials or coming from pharmaceutical industry who are interested in advancing this technology.
Your contact person for this offer
Innovation Manager New Materials, Climate and Environment Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation and Relations Management (IRM) Phone: +49 721 608-26107