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Scaffolds For 3D Cell Culture

Take a fantastic voyage into our polymers for cell culture and tissue regeneration:

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For the culture and differentiation of cells in three dimensions it is necessary to seed cells into an artificial structure capable of supporting tissue formation. These structures, usually referred to as scaffolds, are critical for allowing cells to influence their own microenvironments both in-vitro and in-vivo. The scaffold must firstly allow cell attachment and migration, enable diffusion of cell nutrients and expressed waste and provide the requisite mechanical and biological properties. The porosity and properties under flow are crucial factors to consider when designing macroporous structures. The macroporous scaffold’s utilized to-date have poorly defined pore structure and the pores are generally either too small or have broad pore size distribution. In addition, a large number of biomaterials currently available are hydrophobic providing unnatural and often incompatible environments for cell attachment.

Ideally a super-macroporous structure is required which allows efficient migration of nutrients and waste but importantly allows rapid and unhindered diffusion of cells. An optimum scaffold will have carefully engineered pores designed for cell type and rate of migration. Generally a more workable pore size would be in the range of 40-200µm and the ability to create a specific pore size within this range is probably the ultimate goal for tissue engineers.

At Spheritech we have invented a process for the manufacture of super-macroporous polymer scaffolds for cell culture. This novel process allows for a more precisely controlled pore structure, pore volume and pore dimension than could previously be achieved. The process allows for the manufacture of 3-D structures in practically any polymer including biodegradable, biocompatible, organic or inorganic.

The subsequent Spheritech invention of a complimentary novel hydrophilic, biopolymer for cell culture and regenerative medicine now allows us to precisely control pore structure and chemical properties. The new polymer named Proliferate® provides a convenient surface for covalent or ionic attachment of cell binding peptide or proteins in a precisely controlled manner.

Although our polymers are gaining recognition with academics and pharmaceutical companies working in skin, kidney and nerve regeneration we are looking for external collaborators to help us investigate and optimize a range of materials for commercial launch.

For more information contact don.wellings@spheritech.com