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Strategies in animal cell culture

Towards better methods in drug screening
Strategies in animal cell culture

Aligned Neuronal Networks

For obvious reasons, cell therapy requires straightforward strategies for cell cryopreservation that minimize cell damage. But cryopreservation is also essential to maintain cell cultures for drug screenings. Now available, in an online publication ahead of print (Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods), is a method that allows cells cultured in monolayers, namely neurons, to maintain a high membrane integrity as well as a full recovery of metabolic activity and differentiation capacity within 24hr after thawing. The work was conducted by research teams at ITQB/IBET (Animal Cell Technology Laboratory) and at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering.


Cryopreservation of Adherent Cells: Strategies to Improve Cell Viability and Function after Thawing

Rita Malpique, Friederike Ehrhart, Alisa Katsen-Globa, Heiko Zimmermann, Paula M. Alves.
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods ahead of print. doi:10.1089/ten.tec.2008.0410.


Also ahead of print in the same journal, another technology developed by the Animal Cell Technology Laboratory (and co-workers) is described. Liver cells, or hepatocytes, cultured as 3D structures in bioreactors are shown to be a good model for studying drug metabolism over a long period of time. This is especially important in drug screening since most drugs are metabolized in the liver and reliable cell models are needed to decrease the use of animals in the pre-clinical stages of drug development.  By allowing cell-cell interactions in all directions, the 3D structures retained several hepatocyte functions thus resembling more closely the in vivo environment.


Toward Extended Functional Hepatocyte In Vitro Culture

Joana P. Miranda, Sofia B. Leite, Ursula Muller-Vieira, Armanda Rodrigues, Manuel J.T. Carrondo, Paula M. Alves. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods. ahead of print. doi:10.1089/ten.tec.2008.0352.

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