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It has been our great pleasure to interview Iñaki Ochoa, head of the Research Group with which we collaborate to develop the latest technologies in Cell Culture.
It is a group specialized in oncology; that is, they perform treatments for cancer. The group is known for having developed the most advanced model in the world of glioblastoma; one of the most dangerous cancers.
Let´s see what he has to tell us!
microLIQUID: Problems encountered with conventional Cell Culture methods, and the solutions offered by Microfluidic Cell Culture:
Iñaki Ochoa: The conventional Cell Culture methods that are used today are based mainly on two-dimensional cultures performed on plastic plates. The cells are placed or “planted” at the bottom of these plates. To provide them with nutrients, a liquid, or culture medium, is added on top of them. This liquid provides the necessary nutrients. These plates require a gaseous connection to the outside in order to access the essential gases (such as oxygen) to maintain viable cells. As can easily be concluded, our body is not two-dimensional, nor do our cells live in isolatiom from each other. Under current culture conditions, the cells lack an environment similar to that of our body. Cells in the laboratory do not grow under three-dimensional conditions, they have an excess of essential elements (nutrients, oxygen, etc.) and, in addition, they lack interaction with other cell types for in vivo communication.
microLIQUID: Advantage of the Microfluidic Cell Culture:
Microfluidic Application: Cell Culture
Cell culture studies based on Microfluidics are said to provide a valuable complement to in vivo experiments, because it allows a more controlled manipulation of cellular functions and processes.
Even if obtaining a pure population of primary cells can be a difficult and hard process, it gives many advantages to work with it, such as;
1. Flexibility when designing the device, it gives the opportunity to adapt to the client’s needs.
2. It gives experimental flexibility & control, which means that is possible to control and make different experiments while creating.
3. Moreover, a low number of cells are needed, because microfluidic cell culture devices reduce the cell population to a few hundred cell, or sometimes, even to individual cells. This increases the spatial and temporal resolution for the experiment.
4. Single cell handling and Real-time on chip analysis: This point is related to the previous, one, because microfluidic cell culture includes the ability to more closely mimic a cell’s natural microenvironment, working directly on chip , and moreover, working in real time.
5. Microfluidic cell culture devices also make it possible and reliable to study complex cellular behaviour, such as the relationship between single cell movements and collective cell migration.
6. Related to the real time on chip analysis, this system gives the opportunity and advantages of precise control of experimental conditions.
7. Moreover, microfluidic cell culture is able to incorporate analytical biosensors into the culture platform.
Microfluidics Application: Cell Culture
CELL CULTURE : As known, a single cell is what builds the human life, and the genetic material of all those cells in the human body hold the secret to inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer or other complex diseases.
Taking this into account, Cell cultures and DNA can be established from blood or small fragments of tissue (biopsies).
In its simplest form of cell culture, it involves the dispersal of cells in an artificial environment composed of nutrient solutions, a suitable surface to support the growth of cells, and ideal conditions of temperature, humidity, and gaseous atmosphere. These systems are needed for aa researcher to measure the response of the cell’s alterations in culture, prospective drugs, the presence or absence of other kind of cells and viruses precisely.
Cell culture, what for?
The mass culture of animal cell lines is fundamental to the manufacture of viral vaccines and many biotechnology products. And the use of cell culture has clear advantages, such us: