Ask the Expert – Culturing epithelial cells using advanced 3D culture systems for airway modeling

By on April 11, 2016
Ask the Expert

The ability to appropriately model the human airway has been greatly impacted by the development of specialized in vitro cell culture techniques that promote the formation of 3D structures recapitulating the morphological and functional characteristics of the airway.

Last week’s post Cool Tools – Producing 3D Tissue Models of the Airway Epithelium with PneumaCult detailed the ways in which airway tissue models contribute to the respiratory research field, and how these advanced culture systems are supported by the defined and bovine pituitary extract-free PneumaCult™ culture system. This article discusses the features of the air-liquid-interface (ALI) culture system, which supports extensive cellular differentiation to form a pseudostratified mucociliary epithelium featuring mucus-producing cells, ciliated cells with coordinated cilia movement, and physiological epithelial barrier function. Sphere cultures of airway epithelial cells incorporating a differentiated epithelial cell layer with an open lumen lined with the apical cell surfaces were also discussed in the context of an airway culture model that is easily adaptable to high-throughput investigations.

Have questions about modeling the human airway?

This week, Dr. Juan Hou will be answering your questions about modeling the human airway, including how to use PneumaCult™-Ex and PneumaCult™-ALI to generate high-quality ALI and sphere cultures. If you have any questions about culturing airway cells using advanced, 3D culture systems, Dr. Hou would be happy to address these, along with any inquiries on how these culture techniques can be applied to various research topics in the respiratory field.

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