Research Topic

Investigating Biology using Advanced 3D Culture Systems: The Design of Normal and Pathological Tissue Engineering Models

About this Research Topic

In recent years, the development of tridimensional (3D) culture systems has attracted the greatest interest to investigate cell biology, as shown by the growing publication rate on this topic. Such 3D systems provide more accurate in vitro models than the traditional 2D systems, not only in terms of cell adhesion, migration, but also in terms of cell response to the microenvironment involving mechanical stimulation, transfer phenomena (oxygen, nutrients), cell-cell contacts, and autocrine/paracrine factors. However, reproducing the native cellular microenvironment during culture, in additional to analyzing its impact, remains challenging since a lot of parameters such as extracellular matrix composition, architecture with specific mechanical properties, medium and growth factors selection, as well as dynamic culture conditions must be addressed to better mimic each targeted tissue.

The development of 3D culture systems is required to investigate biology in tissue environment mimicking physiological process as well as disease progression. The properties of the selected extracellular matrix or biomimetic materials, culture medium composition, the use of bioreactors, and dynamic culture conditions will all have a critical impact on the behaviour of cells, grown alone or in co-cultures (endothelial cells, neurons, multipotent adult mesenchymal stromal cells, pluripotent induced stem cells). The ability to follow the 3D culture systems in real time will also strongly deepen our understanding of the mechanical and biochemical signalling mechanisms governing specific cell behaviour, thus improving tissue engineering strategies. Such 3D culture systems can also play a crucial role in the drug screening and optimization of drug delivery systems.
This Research Topic will therefore show how current cutting-edge advances in engineered extracellular matrix, biomimetic materials, bioprinting strategy, specialized bioreactors, cell co-cultures, should be used to develop the next generation of 3D culture systems and to influence cell fate. In situ monitoring of such systems will help to generate more accurate tissue engineering models for normal or pathological tissues, which will be used in regenerative medicine, but also as efficient drug screening platforms for the development of new therapeutics.

We would like to gather a collection of Original Research and Reviews that comprises a compendium of the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of 3D culture systems.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• 3D culture systems for regenerative medicine applications: musculoskeletal, cardiac and nervous systems
• Tissue mimetics
• Bioreactors, biomechanics and transfer phenomena
• Workflow real-time analysis of 3D cell culture systems
• Online monitoring of metabolic activity
• Single-cell analyses applied to tissue-engineered models
• Bioprinting challenges and opportunities for tissue engineering applications
• 3D cancer culture models
• Drug delivery in 3D culture systems mimicking targeted tissue environment
• Drug screening using 3D culture systems


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In recent years, the development of tridimensional (3D) culture systems has attracted the greatest interest to investigate cell biology, as shown by the growing publication rate on this topic. Such 3D systems provide more accurate in vitro models than the traditional 2D systems, not only in terms of cell adhesion, migration, but also in terms of cell response to the microenvironment involving mechanical stimulation, transfer phenomena (oxygen, nutrients), cell-cell contacts, and autocrine/paracrine factors. However, reproducing the native cellular microenvironment during culture, in additional to analyzing its impact, remains challenging since a lot of parameters such as extracellular matrix composition, architecture with specific mechanical properties, medium and growth factors selection, as well as dynamic culture conditions must be addressed to better mimic each targeted tissue.

The development of 3D culture systems is required to investigate biology in tissue environment mimicking physiological process as well as disease progression. The properties of the selected extracellular matrix or biomimetic materials, culture medium composition, the use of bioreactors, and dynamic culture conditions will all have a critical impact on the behaviour of cells, grown alone or in co-cultures (endothelial cells, neurons, multipotent adult mesenchymal stromal cells, pluripotent induced stem cells). The ability to follow the 3D culture systems in real time will also strongly deepen our understanding of the mechanical and biochemical signalling mechanisms governing specific cell behaviour, thus improving tissue engineering strategies. Such 3D culture systems can also play a crucial role in the drug screening and optimization of drug delivery systems.
This Research Topic will therefore show how current cutting-edge advances in engineered extracellular matrix, biomimetic materials, bioprinting strategy, specialized bioreactors, cell co-cultures, should be used to develop the next generation of 3D culture systems and to influence cell fate. In situ monitoring of such systems will help to generate more accurate tissue engineering models for normal or pathological tissues, which will be used in regenerative medicine, but also as efficient drug screening platforms for the development of new therapeutics.

We would like to gather a collection of Original Research and Reviews that comprises a compendium of the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of 3D culture systems.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• 3D culture systems for regenerative medicine applications: musculoskeletal, cardiac and nervous systems
• Tissue mimetics
• Bioreactors, biomechanics and transfer phenomena
• Workflow real-time analysis of 3D cell culture systems
• Online monitoring of metabolic activity
• Single-cell analyses applied to tissue-engineered models
• Bioprinting challenges and opportunities for tissue engineering applications
• 3D cancer culture models
• Drug delivery in 3D culture systems mimicking targeted tissue environment
• Drug screening using 3D culture systems


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

16 December 2020 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

16 December 2020 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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