Part 9. Human Biopsies in Nanofibrillar Cellulose Hydrogel

Beate Rinner is Assoc-Prof at the Medical University of Graz, Head of the Core Facility Alternative Biomodels and Preclincial Imaging and founder of the Cellbank Graz. Her research focuses on the establishment of rare tumor cell lines and the generation of autologous tumor models to advance personalized medicine and to identify and understand important signaling pathways. Additionally, cell communication and biomarker development through the release of extracellular vesicles are among her areas of expertise.

Human Biopsies in Nanofibrillar Cellulose Hydrogel (GrowDex) – A Novel Method for Long-term Tissue Culture

Presenter: Beate Rinner, Medical University of Graz

Advanced 3D in vitro models are laborious to prepare and susceptible to unintentional design errors due to culture adaptations, cell immaturity, xenofactors or yet incomplete knowledge of the dynamics within tissues or materials. In order to acquire cost-efficient research material with intact in vivo composition, we developed novel tissue culture method with plant-derived scaffolding.

Human skin-, foreskin- and glioblastoma multiforme biopsies were dissected mechanically and cultivated for 28 days in plant-derived nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogel. Comparative cultures were done using mouse sarcoma tumor –derived Matrigel™. Long-term preservation of cultivated tissues was evaluated against typical immunohistochemical biomarkers for each tissue type: skin tissues for cytokeratins 5/6, E-cadherin and vimentin for sustained tissue structures, and brain neoplasia for Olig2, S100, Nestin, NOTCH1, MAP2 and GFAP for preserved disease profile.

Histological analysis from both culture conditions showed that until day 28, all cultivated biopsy types were able to sustain their characteristic protein expressions without signs of necrosis. We here conclude a novel tissue culture model in xeno-free 3D scaffolding, that can enable long-term sample storage in vitro, studies of human tumor tissues and their non-neoplastic microenvironment, and innovations in personalized medicine research.


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