Letter abstract


Nature Nanotechnology 5, 291 - 296 (2010)
Published online: 14 March 2010 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.23

Subject terms: Nanomaterials | Nanomedicine

Three-dimensional tissue culture based on magnetic cell levitation

Glauco R. Souza1,9, Jennifer R. Molina2, Robert M. Raphael3, Michael G. Ozawa1, Daniel J. Stark4, Carly S. Levin5, Lawrence F. Bronk1, Jeyarama S. Ananta6, Jami Mandelin1, Maria-Magdalena Georgescu2, James A. Bankson7, Juri G. Gelovani8, T. C. Killian4, Wadih Arap1 & Renata Pasqualini1


Cell culture is an essential tool in drug discovery, tissue engineering and stem cell research. Conventional tissue culture produces two-dimensional cell growth with gene expression, signalling and morphology that can be different from those found in vivo, and this compromises its clinical relevance1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Here, we report a three-dimensional tissue culture based on magnetic levitation of cells in the presence of a hydrogel consisting of gold, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and filamentous bacteriophage. By spatially controlling the magnetic field, the geometry of the cell mass can be manipulated, and multicellular clustering of different cell types in co-culture can be achieved. Magnetically levitated human glioblastoma cells showed similar protein expression profiles to those observed in human tumour xenografts. Taken together, these results indicate that levitated three-dimensional culture with magnetized phage-based hydrogels more closely recapitulates in vivo protein expression and may be more feasible for long-term multicellular studies.

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  1. David H. Koch Center, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA
  2. Department of Neuro-Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA
  3. Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
  5. Nano3D Biosciences, Inc., Houston, Texas 77030, USA
  6. Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA
  7. Department of Imaging Physics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA
  8. Department of Experimental Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA
  9. Present address: Nano3D Biosciences, Inc., Houston, Texas 77030, USA

Correspondence to: T. C. Killian4 e-mail: killian@rice.edu

Correspondence to: Wadih Arap1 e-mail: warap@mdanderson.org

Correspondence to: Renata Pasqualini1 e-mail: rpasqual@mdanderson.org



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