Three-Dimensional Tissue Cultures
Three-dimensional (3D) tissue cultures are in vitro methods for growing cells in a system that more accurately than single-layer (monolayer) cultures reproduces the structure, function, and microenvironment of the tissue of origin.
There is wide recognition that most cells require the complex structure and function of the 3D tissue microenvironment to provide the many signals and interactions for appropriate proliferation, growth, apoptosis, differentiation, and invasionnecessary to form relevant models of the corresponding in vivo structures. Three-dimensional cultures have arisen to overcome the inadequacies of simple (2D) cultures in reliably representing tissue and organ function in vitro and as a model of intermediate complexity between the cell and the tissue or organ. In cancer research, this is reflected in different cell responses to therapeutic agents and other experimental manipulations when cells are in 3D culture rather than (2D) monolayer...