Supportive development of functional tissues for biomedical research using the MINUSHEET® perfusion system
Department of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
Clinical and Translational Medicine 2012, 1:22 doi:10.1186/2001-1326-1-22Published: 5 October 2012
Functional tissues generated under in vitro conditions are urgently needed in biomedical research. However, the engineering of tissues is rather difficult, since their development is influenced by numerous parameters. In consequence, a versatile culture system was developed to respond the unmet needs.
Optimal adhesion for cells in this system is reached by the selection of individual biomaterials. To protect cells during handling and culture, the biomaterial is mounted onto a MINUSHEET® tissue carrier. While adherence of cells takes place in the static environment of a 24 well culture plate, generation of tissues is accomplished in one of several available perfusion culture containers. In the basic version a continuous flow of always fresh culture medium is provided to the developing tissue. In a gradient perfusion culture container epithelia are exposed to different fluids at the luminal and basal sides. Another special container with a transparent lid and base enables microscopic visualization of ongoing tissue development. A further container exhibits a flexible silicone lid to apply force onto the developing tissue thereby mimicking mechanical load that is required for developing connective and muscular tissue. Finally, stem/progenitor cells are kept at the interface of an artificial polyester interstitium within a perfusion culture container offering for example an optimal environment for the spatial development of renal tubules.
The system presented here was evaluated by various research groups. As a result a variety of publications including most interesting applications were published. In the present paper these data were reviewed and analyzed. All of the results point out that the cell biological profile of engineered tissues can be strongly improved, when the introduced perfusion culture technique is applied in combination with specific biomaterials supporting primary adhesion of cells.