Ultrathin Ceramic Membranes as Scaffolds for Functional Cell Coculture Models on a Biomimetic Scale
AuthorJud, C; Ahmed, S; Mueller, L; Kinnear, C; Vanhecke, D; Umehara, Y; Frey, S; Liley, M; Angeloni, S; Petri-Fink, A; ...
Source TitleBioResearch Open Access
PublisherMARY ANN LIEBERT, INC
University of Melbourne Author/sKinnear, Calum
AffiliationSchool of Chemistry
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsJud, C., Ahmed, S., Mueller, L., Kinnear, C., Vanhecke, D., Umehara, Y., Frey, S., Liley, M., Angeloni, S., Petri-Fink, A. & Rothen-Rutishauser, B. (2015). Ultrathin Ceramic Membranes as Scaffolds for Functional Cell Coculture Models on a Biomimetic Scale. BIORESEARCH OPEN ACCESS, 4 (1), pp.457-468. https://doi.org/10.1089/biores.2015.0037.
Access StatusOpen Access
Epithelial tissue serves as an interface between biological compartments. Many in vitro epithelial cell models have been developed as an alternative to animal experiments to answer a range of research questions. These in vitro models are grown on permeable two-chamber systems; however, commercially available, polymer-based cell culture inserts are around 10 μm thick. Since the basement membrane found in biological systems is usually less than 1 μm thick, the 10-fold thickness of cell culture inserts is a major limitation in the establishment of realistic models. In this work, an alternative insert, accommodating an ultrathin ceramic membrane with a thickness of only 500 nm (i.e., the Silicon nitride Microporous Permeable Insert [SIMPLI]-well), was produced and used to refine an established human alveolar barrier coculture model by both replacing the conventional inserts with the SIMPLI-well and completing it with endothelial cells. The structural-functional relationship of the model was evaluated, including the translocation of gold nanoparticles across the barrier, revealing a higher translocation if compared to corresponding polyethylene terephthalate (PET) membranes. This study demonstrates the power of the SIMPLI-well system as a scaffold for epithelial tissue cell models on a truly biomimetic scale, allowing construction of more functionally accurate models of human biological barriers.
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