Hydrogels are being increasingly for a wide range of biomedical applications including cell culture, drug delivery, tissue engineering and wound healing. This research has opened up new opportunities to provide materials that are triggerable and tuneable.
Although there are some challenges associated with using hydrogels for drug delivery systems, there has been considerable progress in recent years.
Before a drug is deemed suitable for patients, it must undergo a rigorous testing process and cost-effectiveness analyses. The testing begins in a lab where researchers investigate the process behind a disease at either cellular or molecular level. In the past, this has been completed using 2D cell culture, which is convenient and accessible, but more often, cells are grown in a complex 3D environment.
Organoids and spheroids are the most commonly used approaches for establishing 3D cell cultures. This article will explore the similarities (and differences) between how they are made and what they do.
Animal derived materials remain an important part of biological research. Progress is being made to replace these with better defined non-animal alternatives. This is a huge task. The goal of developing alternatives to materials such as FBS and Matrigel® remains elusive.