MD-TEC Workshop: Device Testing Using Organotypic Culture Systems

15 March 2018 Institute of Translational Medicine Heritage Building (Old Queen Elizabeth Hospital) Mindelsohn Way Birmingham B15 2TH

In vitro testing is currently used as a first-stage method for assessing the toxicity and compatibility of drugs and implants and can avoid the unnecessary use of animals in the testing of incompatible materials and compounds. Whilst this method is the most suitable for standardization and quantification, there are numerous problems in terms of understanding the cellular response, often referred to as ‘biocompatibility’, which is often incorrect, as what is recorded is the behavior of individual cells, not organized into complex tissues, and as such, these tests cannot always demonstrate whole-tissue response to drugs, biomaterials and implants. Secondly, the response of isolated cells to these compounds can be much greater than in vivo, meaning that the effects can be overestimated, and that the investigations are limited to the acute, short-term effects of these compounds.

3D culture models, which are more complex than monolayer populations but less complex than the multi-factorial in vivo rodent models are a major area of research as they can provide further information regarding the cellular pathophysiology and the involvement of individual molecular factors in disease.

Since the 1990s, a variety of hydrogels have become available for organ and tissue engineering, due to their structural similarity to the extracellular matrix of tissues and their biochemical composition, which enables multi-directional cell proliferation and new matrix production.

The University of Birmingham in collaboration with partner Institutions have recently developed organotypic models of musculo-skeletal tissues which will be discussed at this workshop. These platforms have the advantages of in vitro systems in terms of reproducibility, and adaptability, but with a biological complexity more similar to native tissues, displaying promise for use in many research areas, from bone replacement materials to pathological research.

This event if free. For more information visit the Eventbrite page.