Investigating Cellular Biophysics in the Third Dimensionality
林耿慧1,2*
1Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
2Physics, National Central University, Taipei, Taiwan
* Presenter:林耿慧, email:kenghui@gate.sinica.edu.tw
It has been well-documented that cells cultured in three-dimensional (3D) matrix resemble in vivo cellular morphology and behaviors. However, the practice of 3D culture is not a norm in current biology lab due to it complexity, cost, and reproducibility. To overcome these difficulties, my lab invented a novel 3D culture matrix as arrays of uniform spherical pores fabricated by a simple microfluidic method. This novel culture matrix is successfully commercialized under the tradename GoMatrix®. Here I am going to review a series of our past work. For example, we found distinct tissue cell types cultured in GoMatrix® displayed appropriate morphological and physiological characteristics: epithelial cells formed cyst-like structures and well poalirzed inside pores, myoblasts adopted a tubular structure and fused into myotubes, and fibroblasts exhibited a wide variety of morphologies. We also fabricated scaffold of the same architecture with different stiffness and found that cells sense local stiffness in a 3D scaffold. We also found that fibroblast cells exhibit 3D distribution of actin cytoskeleton and adhensions. In collaboration with medical doctors, we found that mesenchymal stem cells show high osteogenesis when cultured in the pore size between 100 and 150 μm and higher osteogenesis power in 3D than in 2D. Last but not the least, we also investigated how pore size regulated cell volume and found different conclusion from 2D counterpart. In summary, the novel 3D scaffolds show great promise for fundamental research to understand how cells sense dimensionality and also for industrial applications for drug screening assays.


Keywords: 3D cell culture, microfluidics, cell biophysics