Comparison of human dermal fibroblasts and HaCat cells cultured in medium with or without serum via a generic tissue engineering research platform
journal contributionposted on 09.02.2018 by Chris Gabbott, Tao Sun
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A generic research platform with 2-dimensional (2D) cell culture technology, a 3-dimensional (3D) in vitro tissue model, and a scaled-down cell culture and imaging system in between, was utilized to address the problematic issues associated with the use of serum in skin tissue engineering. Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) and immortalized keratinocytes (HaCat cells) monoor co-cultured in serum or serum-free medium were compared and analyzed via the platform. It was demonstrated that serum depletion had significant influence on the attachment of HaCat cells onto tissue culture plastic (TCP), porous substrates and cellulosic scaffolds, which was further enhanced by the pre-seeded HDFs. The complex structures formed by the HDFs colonized within the porous substrates and scaffolds not only prevented the seeded HaCat cells from filtering through the open pores, but also acted as cellular substrates for HaCat cells to attach onto. When mono-cultured on TCP, both HDFs and HaCat cells were less proliferative in medium without serum than with serum. However, both cell types were successfully co-cultured in 2D using serum-free medium if the initial cell seeding density was higher than 80,000 cells/cm2 (with 1:1 ratio). Based on the results from 2D cultures, co-culture of both cell types on modular substrates with small open pores (125 µm) and cellulosic scaffolds with open pores of varying sizes (50–300 µm) were then conducted successfully in serum-free medium. This study demonstrated that the generic research platform had great potential for in-depth understanding of HDFs and HaCat cells cultivated in serum-free medium, which could inform the processes for manufacturing skin cells or tissues for clinical applications.
This study was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC; UK) (EP/L015072/1).
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