Questions such as “How does a living organism work?”, “When and why do we develop cancer and how to stop it?”,“Why and how we age?” rankle people for decades if not centuries. Cell cultures can help to understand such issues, they can also provide information about toxicity or healing effects of certain drugs and many other useful information.
3D cell cultures are postulated to become a bridge between 2D in vitro models and experiments on animals. They provide more natural environment for the cells, with elaborate stimulation patterns as well as chemical gradients and therefore are better suited for mimicking live systems than planar cultures. Despite the growing popularity of 3D cultures, to our knowledge no analytical platform was realized that would allow robust electrochemical analysis in various points of such systems. Traditional optical analysis is not suitable for imaging of the inside of such structures, and as such systems are supposed to recreate chemical and physical gradients the results obtained for the outside cannot be easily interpolated for the rest of the culture. Imaging techniques able to assess whole of 3D cultures exist but the equipment necessary for such measurements is expensive, and usually cannot provide all the essential information without additional staining or genetic engineering which allows expression of fluorescent proteins. In case of optical analysis photobleaching problems have to be taken into account.
As 3D cell cultures are a potential candidate to at least partially substitute animal testing, platform enabling analysis of such systems is of an utmost importance. Due to the inability of 2D cell cultures to imitate a living organism a great part of expensive clinical tests fails at late stages. Drugs which would provide promising results in planar cultures, are often shown to be inactive or toxic when preclinical tests are transferred to in vivo environment. Small improvements in preclinical screening methods could reduce the cost of drug development by millions of dollars per product.
Creative sensing brings You a versatile platform which enables cell culturing in 3D, at the same time providing possibility of electrochemical analysis in various points of the culture.Amperometric and potentiometric analysis allows to access biologically relevant molecules (neurotransmitters- dopamine, respiratory activity by analysis of oxygen or glucoseconsumption etc.). Our system permits to perform numerous assays: viability, cell cycle, apoptosis, drug screening, stem cell differentiation etc.