Conventional growth factors limit the possibilities of cell culture. PODS® addresses these limitations enabling researchers to better control and manipulate cells in 2D and 3D culture as well as in-vivo.
PODS® are nano-scale co-crystals made from 100% protein. PODS® slowly release their growth factor cargo through nanopores, generating steady-state bioavailability (near zero-order kinetics).
The sustainable release provided by PODS® crystals generates stable growth factor concentrations enabling precise control of the cell culture environment, significantly improving the health and quality of cells.
The slow-release provide by PODS® also reduces, or even eliminates, the need for media changes. This also softens the level of cycling between high and low growth factor concentration which can stress cells. Even more exciting, PODS® nanocrystals can be precisely positioned to provide localized bioavailability and, if desired, to generate micro-gradients.
PODS are also highly stable in storage. This unparalleled flexibility and control of a culture system opens up many possibilities for innovation in 2D, 3D and in-vivo applications.
3D growth factors for 3D culture
PODS® are 3D cubic structures which slowly release growth factor cargos. This enables the constant supply of growth factors, even to cells in the centre of 3D structures including organoids, spheroids or 3D printed structures.
Comparison of conventional growth factors and PODS® growth factors
Conventional vs. PODS® growth factors
✓ Lot-to-lot reprodicible
✓ Slowly soluble in the presence of proteases
✓ Heat-stable over long periods
Difficult to localize
✓ Readily localized - readily form gradients
Difficult to incorporate into biomaterials
✓ Readily incorporates into biomaterials
Requires frequent replenishment
✓ Growth factor constantly replenished from store within PODS crystals
$ to $$$$ - economical to very expensive
✓ $ - economical
PODS® enable greater control of cell fate
Cells respond to spatial and temporal changes in growth factor availability. When using standard, soluble growth factors, there is little control over the position of a growth factor, which will spread evenly across the culture space. Standard growth factors also provide very little control over growth factor concentrations which diminish over time.
The localized, sustained release capabilities of PODS allow spatiotemporal control of growth factor concentration. This enables a wide range of exciting applications including:
Bioink functionalization • 3D culture • Organoids • Scaffolds • Microfluidics (lab on a chip) • Improved and simplified stem cell culture • In-vivo survival agent for implanted cells • In-vivo and therapeutic protein delivery • Patterning and localization