alvetex® 3D Cell Culture Technology
AMSBIO offers alvetex®
a synthetic scaffold for routine 3D cell culture.
Traditionally, cultured cells normally grow on treated-polystyrene 2D surfaces as in standard cell culture plastic-ware. alvetex® presents cells with the equivalent growth substrate but in a 3D format. These materials are readily adaptable to different types of existing tissue culture plastic-ware (e.g. multi-well plates, well inserts). The culture device is pre-fabricated, sterile, is ready to use off-the-shelf and can be handled in a similar manner as standard 2D plastic-ware.
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- Consistent Structure
- Based on existing cell culture material
- Stable and inert
- Adaptable to existing cell formats
- Compatible with current methods of analysis
alvetex® is a highly porous polystyrene scaffold
engineered into a 200µm thick membrane which provides a 3D space into which
cells can invade, proliferate and grow. The vertical axis of the third dimension
essentially enables additional layers of cells to form complex 3D interactions
with adjacent cells simulating the structure of a tissue.
alvetex® is available in a range of formats designed with ease of use and flexibility in mind:
alvetex® presented in a multi-well plate format is ideal for short-term cultures and techniques such as transfection.
alvetex® mounted in our well insert bathes the 3D culture in medium from above and below enabling long-term culture. Our well insert holder mounted in a deep Petri dish provides a larger volume of medium to further optimize growth of long-term 3D cultures, and enables co-culture studies (2D and 3D; or 3D and 3D).
Inserts not included
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These are distinct advantages over existing 3D culture products which are technically more difficult to use, have a finite shelf life and are expensive.
Importantly, alvetex® can be used for routine 3D cell culture, as an inert plastic, alvetex® is a 3D culture product which can be treated in the same manner as traditional 2D cell culture plastic. The scaffold can be plasma treated without any detrimental effect to its structure. alvetex® can be sterilised using gamma radiation. In other words, its manufacture is compatible with standard culture-ware production. Furthermore, the use of polystyrene as a cell growth substrate is well accepted and recognised. These are essential attributes that make alvetex® attractive as a solution for routine 3D cell culture in any research laboratory culturing cells.
alvetex® 3D cell cultures can be studied using a variety of standard molecular and cellular assay techniques.
Assays compatible with alvetex®
- Tissue processing, fixation, embedding and sectioning
- Histological staining, in situ hybridisation
- Bright-field microscopy and photographic imaging
- Electron microscopy - both SEM and TEM
- Cryostat sectioning
- Fluorescence microscopy, confocal, laser capture
- Isolation of viable cells for passaging
- Flow cytometry and cytospinning
- Extraction of nucleic acid and total protein
- Biochemical assays
alvetex® video presentations
Assessment of Cancer Cell Cytotoxicity in a Novel 3D Culture Assay
-- alvetex® Webinar 2011 --
-- alvetex® overview --
Evidence for the functional superiority of cells cultured on 3D supports
compared to 2D monolayer cultures has created much interest in the fabrication
of materials that promote the growth and function of cells in a more realistic
manner. Cells that make up tissues in the body possess a complex
three-dimensional (3D) architecture which is markedly different from the flat
monolayer structure of their cultured counterparts commonly grown on the
two-dimensional (2D) surface of tissue culture plastic.
alvetex® provides a thin membrane of micro-cellular polymer with a
well defined and uniform architecture (images below). alvetex® is
made from inert polystyrene using emulsion templating (Barbetta et al. 2005) and
its surface chemistry can be varied to influence cell adhesion, proliferation
and function (Hayman et al. 2005). By changing the chemical
composition of the emulsion and the processing conditions, the porosity of
alvetex® can be adjusted to suit alternative applications (Carnachan et al. 2006).
The architecture of the emulsion-templated polystyrene scaffold is revealed
below using scanning electron microscopy. The structure of the 200 micron thick
membrane is highly porous and consists of a voids linked to one another by
pores. The scanning electron microscope image below shows the edge of such a
membrane. Note the scale bar for reference.
Traditionally, cultured cells normally grow on treated-polystyrene 2D surfaces
as in standard cell culture plastic-ware. alvetex presents cells with
the equivalent growth substrate but in a 3D format. These materials are readily
adaptable to different types of existing tissue culture plastic-ware (e.g.
multi-well plates, well inserts). The culture device is pre-fabricated, sterile,
is ready to use off-the-shelf and can be handled in a similar manner as standard
Tested on a broad and growing selection of different cell types this 3D scaffold
demonstratse enhanced functional activity compared to cells grown under
identical conditions on 2D culture plastic. Having shown that the
differentiation of cultured stem cells is significantly influenced by 3D growth
Recombinant Animal Free Extracellular Matrix 3D Hydrogels
Tools for 3D Cell Culture
Cultrex Basement Membrane Extracts (BME)
Animal free, chemically defined extracellular matrices
Detachin Cell Detachment Solution
* AMSBIO is the
global source for alvetex®. alvetex® is a registered trade
mark of and manufactured by Reinnervate.