Spheroids have been used in cell culture for decades. In the 1980s, different types of human cancer cells –normally grown as monolayers or suspension cultures–were tested for their innate abilities to form and grow as spheroids in vitro (1). 16 out of 27 tested tumor cell lines successfully formed spheroids (1). In the tumor cells study, scientists also observed that all large spheroids had necrotic centers but their shapes varied. Another study used V79 hamster cells (V79 379A), a human small cell carcinoma of the lung (ME/MAR) and 2 xenographed human melanomas (HX117 and HX118) in spheroids cultures in the 1980s (2). In the study, the effects on spheroid growth due to radiation treatments were measured and evaluated (2).
Widely acknowledged is the unique ability of spheroids to mimic natural cell responses and interactions. Cells in 3D are more representative of their native conditions than the traditional 2D monolayer culturing conditions (e.g., cell-to-cell interactions, drug-induced responses, and cells-to-environment responses). Furthermore, the multicellular arrangement allows different cell types to interact with each other within each spheroid. Past studies examined growth rates, hypoxic conditions, and other survival conditions for the spheroids (1-2). Currently, many cell culture reagents and instruments are available to enable spheroid cultures, making the technique increasingly accessible, flexible and approachable for scientists in a variety of research fields. (Unlock your creative minds!)Continue Reading...
Vascular endothelium is a thin monolayer of cells that constitute the lining of blood vessels and organs (1-3). A hallmark of many diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes mellitus, viral infections, etc) is highlighted in the dysfunctional states of the vascular endothelium. Vascular endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system — heart, large blood vessels, and small capillaries (1). And the cells form the barrier between blood and organ tissues (3).
Notable functions of the vascular endothelium:
1) Controls and regulates vascular relaxation and constriction;
2) Regulates homeostasis of solutes, fluid, macromolecules, hormones, platelets, and blood cells;
3) Directs “foreign materials” to inflammatory cell types;
4) Regulates blood fluidity;Continue Reading...
Cytokine Storms is a complex multicellular inflammatory phenomenon. It is a biological consequence of cytokine overproduction in the human body; it is associated with a variety of infectious and noninfectious diseases. In the most severe cases, it is fatal to the patients.
What is Cytokine Storm?
The word “Cytokine” is derived from Greek words, cell (for cyto) and movement (for kinos or kinin).
“Cytokine Storm” is an overreaction of the human body’s immune system and it can be fatal to the patient. This overreaction is a severe immune reaction where too many pro-inflammatory cytokines are released into the blood in an uncontrolled manner (2).Continue Reading...