A Non-Contact Culture Model for Investigating Cell Signaling and Nanotoxicity

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There is general agreement that in vitro cell model systems offer many advantages over in vivo model systems in elucidation of cell signaling and other mechanisms underlying a toxicant’s effect. While the 3-D cell models simulate the in vivo cellular architecture in tissues/organs, the provision of an adequate extracellular scaffold similar to native extracellular matrix to support cellular growth in 3-D still poses some challenges. Moreover, many 3-D cell models only focus on one cell type. Consequently, there is need for additional and alternative approaches to design cellular models that simulate cell-cell interaction with and without physical contact. We design a “non-contact culture model” whereby two cell types are separated by a nanopore membrane. We use this approach to investigate cell-cell communication and interaction without physical contact by growing a monolayer of SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells on the bottom of 12- or 24-well plates with hanging inserts with polyethylene terpthalate nanopore membrane onto which is seeded a monolayer of U87 astrocytoma cells. In this model the U87 cells appear to exert some protective effect on SK-N-SH cells against oxidative stress. We use this model to further characterize the cytotoxicity of metallic oxide nanoparticles.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 172 - 175
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8504-4