Automation Compatible 3D High Throughput Liver Toxicity Testing in Animal Free Nanofibrillar Cellulose Hydrogels

Steven Worrall, Jonathan Sheard, Essi M. Niemi

UPM Biomedicals, Helsinki, Finland

INTRODUCTION

GrowDex® hydrogels are birch-based nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) hydrogels for 3D cell culture. Besides NFC they contain only purified water, without any animal or human-derived material.

GrowDex hydrogels support cell growth in 3D by physically resembling extracellular matrix (ECM)  biocompatible with human cells and tissues. The structure and mechanical properties can be tuned to fulfill the requirements of different cell types (Fig.1), allowing free diffusion of nutrients and oxygen. GrowDex can be degraded to soluble glucose by cellulase enzyme while retaining the 3D structure of cells.

The hydrogels are shear thinning and room temperature stable, enabling them to be used in a multitude of applications, including automated 3D cell-based high-throughput (HTS) and high content screening (HCS) assays such as DILI assays, drug discovery and precision medicine.

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