Drug Discovery

Why use 3D models in drug discovery?

Cells grown in a 3D micro-environment look and behave more like cells in human tissues than those cultured in 2D. They are in contact with other cells and produce extracellular matrix, which influences tissue-specific gene expression, cell growth and the uptake and metabolism of drugs.

There is significant need for more predictive in vitro efficacy and toxicity assays to reduce both the number of costly drug failures in clinical trials and the number of animals used in pre-clinical testing. A range of 3D cell-based assay techniques, in which cells demonstrate different morphology and behaviour to cells grown in conventional 2D, are being evaluated for use in drug discovery programmes. 3D cell-based assay formats must provide highly consistent performance, as well as be easy to use and compatible with standard automated handling and imaging equipment.

Image: Courtesy of Medicyte GmbH.

Drug Discovery Flyer - Picture 1

 

Mimetix Scaffolds for 3D Cell Culture

Mimetix scaffolds are highly porous and mimic the extracellular matrix, providing an ideal environment to support the growth of cells in 3D. They are created by electrospinning the medical grade polymer poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) into fibres. The Mimetix scaffold is highly consistent well-to-well with respect to fibre diameter and pore size, resulting in excellent reproducibility of cell-based assays. Mimetix has been validated with a number of primary cells, cell lines and stem cells and is available in a range of ready-to-use, sterile laboratory consumable formats.

Our 96-well plate contains the Mimetix scaffold, laser-welded by a proprietary process into the base, and is designed to be compatible with industry standard automated handling and imaging equipment. It is available in fibre diameters of 2 μm and 4 µm, corresponding to pore sizes of 10–18 μm and 19–31 μm, and at a scaffold thickness of 50 μm. It is supplied gamma-irradiated in individually-sealed plastic wrapping.

Image: The Electrospinning Company.

Drug Discovery Flyer - Picture 2

 

Mimetix benefits in 3D cell-based assays

  • True 3D environment

  • High batch-to-batch consistency for reproducible cell-based assays

  • Ready-to-use, sterile, standard-size plates are compatible with industry-standard automated handling and imaging equipment

  • Minimal protocol adaption required to switch from 2D to 3D

  • Material does not degrade or alter over the course of an experiment

  • Thin scaffold provides benefits of 3D cell morphologyand behaviour, yet allows microscopic imaging

 
 

Drug discovery case studies with the Mimetix scaffold

Human upcyte Hepatocytes in Mimetix

Human upcyte Hepatocytes in Mimetix

Human upcyte® Hepatocytes - Quality meets Quantity: Currently, only a few primary cell types are commercially available, and their poor proliferative ...


 
3D culture of human epithelial breast cancer cells

3D culture of human epithelial breast cancer cells

Background: There is significant need for more predictive in vitro efficacy and toxicity assays to reduce both the number of costly drug failures in clinical trials and the number of animals ...