From increased automation capabilities to simplified workflows, animal-free 3D culture matrices can provide value in more ways than you might realize.
Matrices provide a scaffold for 3D culture environment for versatile cell models. Hydrogels support a versatile range of 3D culture applications and are one of the most popular matrix materials, but beware – not all hydrogels are created equal.
Many commercially available hydrogels are animal-derived — and aside from the ethical implications — animal-derived hydrogels can cause significant unintended experimental effects. This is due to batch-to-batch variability that results from the presence of animal-derived proteins and growth factors, and their ill-defined composition.
These complications significantly limit the reliability of animal-derived hydrogels for 3D cell culture-based screening applications. What’s more, biological safety concerns make animal-derived hydrogels unsuitable for use in the development of therapeutics including regenerative medicine or cell and gene therapies.