Current in vitro models for drug discovery often use cells cultured in 2D mono-layers. It is becoming increasingly clear that these 2D models have serious limitations. More and more researchers are turning to 3D models, as cells cultured in 3D mimic the in vivo situation much more closely. The natural support structure of cells, known as the extracellular matrix (ECM), has a profound effect on the morphological and functional differences between 2D and 3D.
Noviogel (PIC) is a fully synthetic biomimetic extracellular matrix that exhibits almost identical biomechanical properties to natural matrices. The complex chemistry of the polymer allows the organisation into a helix-like structure that is similar to the conformation of collagen, abundantly present in the ECM. Noviogel is thermo-sensitive and fully reversible, which allows for ease of cell recovery after culturing. Noviogel-RGD has additional RGD peptides coupled to the hydrogel while Noviogel-P doesn’t contain any additional (growth or ECM) peptides.
Syntrix-P is a synthetic matrix that can be used to create defined 3D micro-environments for a variety of cell-based assays. In the presence of cell culture medium, Syntrix-P self-assembles into a hydrogel that exhibits a nanofiber structure, resembling the natural extracellular matrix. Syntrix-BM has been functionalized with a number of bioactive peptides to enhance cell adhesion and performance.