Cell culture

Green fingers: Plant scaffolds for body parts

Green fingers: Plant scaffolds for body parts

Wood, bamboo and other plant-derived materials are widely used to provide structural integrity for buildings. It turns out that plant-derived scaffolds can also be used, on a much smaller scale, to support the culture of cells grown in 3D. Importantly, as well as providing structure, plant structures can provide vasculature, on a similar scale to our own, enabling nutrients and signalling molecules to be carried to cells that are distant from the surface.

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Cancer models are getting better

Cancer models are getting better

More than any other disease, the complexity of cancer has frustrated the development of effective therapeutics. The varying and evolving landscape of genetic changes between and within tumors and the complex interaction of the cancer cells with the immune system make this disease extremely difficult to simulate. A range of models now exists that better replicate cancers complexity.

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Cell guidance systems: Topotaxis

Cell guidance systems: Topotaxis

In addition to substrate elasticity (durotaxis) and chemical gradients (chemotaxis), which we explored in previous blog articles, surface topography also impacts cell movement and behavior. Cells develop and function embedded within in a highly complex—and evolving—extracellular matrix (ECM) environment. Various biochemical and biophysical ECM cellular cues and their subsequent cell responses shape the development and homeostasis of tissues. An important component of this extracellular environment, governing cell function and behaviour, is the differing micro-/nanotopographical features.

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Xenobots: Teaching an old frog new tricks

Xenobots: Teaching an old frog new tricks

Since as early as the 1990s, a myriad of AI-driven healthcare technology has successfully reached the market. Perhaps one of most astounding—and maybe slightly unsettling—inventions of all involves the development of Xenobots, a new class of synthetic organisms that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds.

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Beyond GFP: a growing and versatile molecular toolbox

Beyond GFP: a growing and versatile molecular toolbox

GFP has given rise to a powerful and versatile molecular toolbox. Cycles of rational design and directed mutagenesis, as well as the isolation of entirely new fluorophores from different species, are continuously pushing the capabilities of fluorescent protein (FP) biosensors to photophysical and biochemical extremes.

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Alternatives to CRISPR-Cas9

Alternatives to CRISPR-Cas9

The impact of CRISPR-Cas9 technology is undeniable. Yet, it is not without limitations. As such, researchers have since adopted modifications to the original technology as well as alternatives that address some of these limitations.

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Free radicals vs. reactive oxygen species: what's the difference?

Free radicals vs. reactive oxygen species: what's the difference?

Free radicals, reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, oxidation, antioxidants; these terms are used in both scientific and non-scientific contexts, though their meaning and relationships with one another often get confused. These molecules have very important biological roles. First, let’s unravel these terms.

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Uses of microcarriers for expansion of cell culture

Uses of microcarriers for expansion of cell culture

Microcarrier-based biomanufacturing has become well established and now represents a large market across all scales of production. Bioreactors on offer which can use microcarriers range from lab sized, with a few liters of capacity, to factory sized, at hundreds or thousands of liters.

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Organoids II: rise of the assembloids

Organoids II: rise of the assembloids

A new wave of innovation is leading to the development of a 2nd generation of ever-more complex organoids, known as assembloids, that will enable more powerful studies to be conducted within the confines of a culture dish allowing greater insights and reducing our reliance on animal models.

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