What is 3D and 2D Cell Culture?

Cerebral organoids protocol

For those who may not know, cell culture techniques are the removal of cells from an animal or plant and grow that very same cell in an artificial environment. The cells can be removed directly from tissue or mechanically from a strain of cells that have been already been removed.Cell-cell interactions, extracellular matrix components, chemical gradients, growth rates, and gene expression in 3D have been shown to provide more clinical relevance compared to cells in 2D culture. In 2D cell culture, the cells that have been removed are grown in a plastic flat dish. The cells will start to spread all over the plastic surface and attach itself to the proteins within the plastic. This is considered to be a very unnatural form of cell culture.

In the 3D cell culture methods, the cells that have been removed attach themselves to other cells and form what is considered a more natural attachment. The attached cells then become much more flexible and pliable, representing natural tissue in the human, animal, or plant. In the 3d cell culture systems, the natural environment allows the cells to move and migrate by applying force towards one another. In this 3D cell environment, cell-to-cell interactions is much easier to analyze and process for tissue regeneration, the biology of cancer stem cells, and the mathematical modeling of tumor growth.

There are several different ways that the 3D cell culture methods is different from the 2D cell culture methods. Let?s take a look at the difference in more detail.

One major different is the shape of the cell within the 3D cell culture and 2D cell culture. The shape of the 2D cell culture are much more spread out and are flatter than that of the 3D cultured cells. In contrast, with the 3D cell culture methods the cells have a more rounded shape encompassed in a surrounding matrix. The 3D cell culture matrix can also be stretched out and spread over the surface but it mainly remains in a sphere.

Cells that are cultured in a 2D method have a direct pathway to nutrients and oxygen however in the 3d cell culture methods, the cells in this environment must rely on the diffusion of nutrients and oxygen that occurs on the pore network of the cell environment. Another major difference is the interaction between the cell matrix between the 2d and the 3d cell culture methods. In the cells in 2d environment, cell communication is based on cell signaling to neighboring cells. The cells in the cell delivery in the 3d environment receives different kinds of signals from matrix chemistry. Factors are all collated to cell growth and protein production. Pathways to communication are activated when the cells transition from 2d to 3d cell culture methods and vice versa. To better understand cell behaviors it?s very important to know the difference between these two methods and apply a different approach to each one due to their many difference.

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