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Obtaining three-dimensional cell cultures by ultrasound for in vitro studies

A team from ITEFI CSIC has developed an ultrasound system that allows the generation of cellular clusters in the form of spheres for in vitro studies. It enables the straightforward creation of stable three-dimensional cell cultures in just a few minutes.

Electron microscopy of a mesothelioma cell spheroid (a type of cancer). Wikipedia

The most common cell cultures in biomedical research are 2D cultures, meaning they are on a horizontal surface (typically, Petri dishes). However, these cultures do not accurately represent the three-dimensional structure found in real organs and living biological tissues. This discrepancy can result in a loss of reliability in experiments.

For the past few years, researchers worldwide have been working to find ways to cultivate three-dimensional cell cultures, enabling experimental conditions closer to reality and reducing the reliance on animals.

A team from the Instituto de Tecnologías Físicas y de la Información “Leonardo Torres Quevedo” (ITEFI) of the CSIC  has developed a method that, using ultrasound, allows the creation of three-dimensional cellular clusters in the form of spheres for in vitro studies of cellular processes such as tumors. Starting from a solution of non-aggregated cells, a spherical cell aggregate can be obtained in just a few minutes.

The method has the advantage of being fast and easy to implement, thereby reducing costs and optimizing production times compared to other current three-dimensional synthesis systems, which are time and cost-intensive.

This method is faster and simpler than other current systems for the synthesis of three-dimensional cellular cultures.

These spherical cultures more accurately replicate real processes that occur in tumors, increasing representativity in in vitro studies while avoiding the use of live animals.

The development is of particular interest to the pharmaceutical and medical industries for drug and treatment research in tumor processes, molecular target investigation, clinical analysis, and tissue engineering."

Furthermore, it is an efficient system in terms of energy and material usage, making it sustainable and aligned with European Union strategies. While its primary application is the study of tumor processes, it can be applied to the research of any cellular tissue and also extended to other areas of interest, such as particle aggregates and microelements.

Contact:

Marc Escamilla
Vicepresidencia Adjunta de Transferencia
del Conocimiento del CSIC
Tel.: 96 161 29 95
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