5 Reasons Why Cultrex ™ is Essential for 3D Cell Culture

The difficulties encountered by users of 3D cell culture emphasize the need for high-performing, consistent reagents.

Bio-Techne Corporation

The benefits of using 3D cell culture continue to grow as industries from academia to pharmaceutical leverage 3D models to reproduce cellular behaviors and morphologies similar to those seen in vivo. Despite the advantages of using 3D cell culture models, reproducibility and culture longevity remain a challenge. The difficulties encountered by users of 3D cell culture emphasize the need for high-performing, consistent reagents.

The Cultrex portfolio offered by Bio-Techne is a perfect place to start. Their offering includes Cultrex Basement Membrane Extract (BME), which is used as a scaffolding for organoid and stem cell culture, and Cultrex Extracellular Matrices (ECM), which provide a defined substrate for cell adhesion in culture. With the upcoming addition of Cultrex Ultimatrix BME to the line, Bio-Techne has a high performing matrix for all 2D & 3D cell culture applications.

This article discusses the 5 reasons why this set of scaffolding reagents should be considered a 3D cell culture essential.

1. It’s consistent

Consistency, reliability, and high activity are reagent qualities that Bio-Techne applies across its brands. Generating soluble basement membrane extracts from mouse Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) tumors, such as Cultrex BME, requires stringent procedures to ensure a consistent composition of its key components: laminin, collagen IV, entactin, and heparin sulfate proteoglycan. The manufacturing process for Cultrex BME has been refined to supply the most consistent lot-to-lot formulation of basement membrane extract available. The consistency of Cultrex BME just one reason why the Salk Institute Stem Cell Core Director, Ken Diffenderfer, utilizes it for their pluripotent stem cell and organoid work. Click here to listen to his testimonial.

2. Qualified by application

The extensive validation testing performed on Cultrex BME provides customers with application-qualified versions of the matrix in comparison to competitors. These specialized preparations include 3D-qualified, stem cell-qualified, and organoid-qualified versions. The level of testing on Cultrex BME enables researchers to identify a scaffolding substrate that will work more effectively for their specific and evolving research needs. For example, Cultrex BME 3 has been adopted as a matrix for xenograft models, including patient-derived xenografts (PDX). These models are commonly used in cancer research, and Cultrex BME provides a robust scaffolding to house tumor spheroids for xenograph transplantation.

3. Used by 3D cell culture pioneers

Cultrex BME and ECM proteins are the preferred reagents for key researchers in the fields of stem cells, organoids, and cancer research. This includes Dr. Hans Clevers, a leader of organoid and 3D cell culture, who chooses Cultrex BME, Type2 to generate intestinal organoids from normal and colorectal cancer biopsy tissue. In addition, the team has worked closely with Dr. Hynda Klienman, the inventor of the ECM scaffolding hydrogel that became Cultrex BME.

4. Used and Approved by the Scientists at Bio-Techne

It’s no secret that Bio-Techne is synonymous with quality; the reagents produced under the R&D Systems brand come with a 100% product performance guarantee. The reagents R&D Systems produces are a result of the rigor and scientific expertise of their research scientists. Thanks to the high performance of the Cultrex portfolio, Bio-Techne’s research and development teams reach for Cultrex as their go-to scaffolding substrates for cell culture. These proteins are frequently referenced in their online protocols and are included in stem cell differentiation kits.

5. More Than a 3D Cell Culture Tool

The use of Cultrex extends far beyond 3D cell culture. These substrates are key components to many cell behavior assays used throughout the research community, including cell migration, proliferation and viability, spheroid invasion, and angiogenesis. Running these assays is very straightforward and provides the research community with an easy way to monitor cell behavior in both 2D and 3D cultures.

While the scientific community continues to push the boundaries of potential for 3D cell culture, the quality, consistency, and availability of key reagents remains key to their success. The Cultrex brand fills this need with their extensive portfolio spanning a variety of applications and reputable manufacturing processes. Learn more about the portfolio here: Learn more about the portfolio here.