Human biopsies in nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogel – a novel method for long-term tissue culture

Three-dimensional (3D) biopsy culture models could save the drug discovery industry time and money. In this article, Johanna Niklander, University of Helsinki and Medical University of Graz, and Dr Beate Rinner, Medical University of Graz, outline a recent study they took part in, investigating long-term 3D tissue cultures from human biopsy samples to evaluate the preservation of tissue-typical protein expressions.


Most of the current in vitro cell models consist of one or two cell types, whereas to be physiologically relevant, the model should also take into account the complex cellular interactions within the tissue microenvironment.1,2 However, highly complex in vitro models are laborious3,4 and may accumulate unintentional design errors.5 Culture materials for 3D growth have also been known to affect the diffusion environment of experiments,6 introducing xenofactor contaminations to results7,8 and affecting cell behaviour via scaffold stiffness or growth factors.9,10