Cell culture has been traditionally carried out on bi-dimensional (2D) substrates where cells adhere using ventral receptors to the biomaterial surface. However in vivo, most of the cells are completely surrounded by the extracellular matrix (ECM), resulting in a three-dimensional (3D) distribution of receptors. This may trigger differences in the outside-in signaling pathways and thus in cell behavior. This article shows that stimulating the dorsal receptors of cells already adhered to a 2D substrate by overlaying a film of a new material (a sandwich-like culture) triggers important changes with respect to standard 2D cultures. Furthermore, the simultaneous excitation of ventral and dorsal receptors shifts cell behavior closer to that found in 3D environments. Additionally, due to the nature of the system, a sandwich-like culture is a versatile tool that allows the study of different parameters in cell/material interactions, e.g., topography, stiffness and different protein coatings at both the ventral and dorsal sides. Finally, since sandwich-like cultures are based on 2D substrates, several analysis procedures already developed for standard 2D cultures can be used normally, overcoming more complex procedures needed for 3D systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)