Three-dimensional culture (3D)
Traditional cell culture conditions like the cultivation of adherent cells on 2D plastic surfaces in a static environment, such as in standard cell culture flasks, well-plates or petri dishes are far from representing the physiologic environment of cells. Transitioning from the 2D flat surface and expanding the culture with a z-axis can greatly improve native-like cell behaviour. A growing body of evidence has suggested that 3D cell culture systems, in contrast to 2D culture, represent the native microenvironment of cells in tissues more closely. Thus, the behavior of 3D-cultured cells is more reflective of in vivo cellular responses as biological, chemical, physical, and mechanical cues in these 3D models can be adjusted in a more controlled manner. As an example, cells grown in 3D using tissue-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components and architecture, exhibit biochemical and morphological features specific for the in vivo state, but are not or differently expressed in 2D.