Complex cell culture systems are emerging as key tools to improve physiological relevance of in vitro assay systems. There have been two main ways by which investigators attempt to improve mimicking of physiological conditions in cell and tissue culture. The first is to develop more complex model systems where two or more cell types are co-cultured in a 3D structure either separated by membranes or in spheroids . The second is to incorporate fluidic-flow where the motion of the media itself has been shown to improve metabolic function and lifespan [2,3].
Despite the success of better recapitulating function at the cellular level using these two methods, neither of these approaches addresses the issue of the non-linear nature of the drug or toxicant exposure as is observed in an in vivo system . As a result, the capacity to accurately predict in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics still falls short reaching at best 60-70% accuracy [5,6].
So what’s new in this area? We were interested to discover the following system, which we think will be of interest to many researchers. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics and how it can be used.