Value of 3D cultures

The past decade has seen the implementation of 3D cell cultures in early drug discovery, driven by the need to accelerate novel therapies and biomarkers for patients. Together with better cell models such as stem cells and primary cells, 3D cultures enable greater predictability of efficacy and toxicity in humans before prior to clinical trials which, in turn, would lower the attrition rate of new molecular medicines under development.

The 3D co-culture models are advantageous in that they not only enable drug safety and efficacy assessment in a more in vivo–like context than traditional 2D cell cultures but also eliminate the species differences that often impede interpretation of the pre-clinical outcomes by allowing drug testing directly in human systems.

3D meets immunology

3D cultures are built to provide multi-layer, tissue like structures that mimic the architecture of cells in vivo. 3D cultures are conducive to capturing the extracellular matrix (ECM) that is critical to studying the biology of disease. 3D cultures provide a suitable micro-environment for optimal cell growth, differentiation and function, and the ability to create tissue-like constructs in vitro.

The immune system plays a role in many major diseases by protecting us against infectious agents and malignant cells or by causing disease in the case of autoimmunity.

The cross talk between immune cells and the ECM provide a foundation to understanding factors that play a role in cell migration, motility and immune escape.

IMMUNE 3D aims to merge our in-depth know-how on 3D cultures and immunology to develop novel 3D platforms that capture the disease environment for cost-effective discovery, screening and acceleration of therapies and biomarkers.

Applications

What is the Tumor Immune Microenvironment (TIME)?

T cell migration allows for the detection of antigen at the surface of antigen-presenting cells and for interactions with other immune cells. T cell migration is governed by mechanisms that are optimized for both the activation stage of the cell and for environment-specific cues. A number of factors including chemokines, stromal factors and matrix metalloproteinases have been shown to influence the infiltration of T cells in the TME.