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Advanced Organ Models



Human biology can be studied in vitro at the individual cell level or as collections of cells in 2D or 3D models. There is a rapidly growing interest in 3D because it has been recognised that cells behave differently when surrounded by an extra-cellular matrix and have the opportunity to exchange chemical signals with other cells in a co-culture environment. In general, it is now recognised that 3D or tissue-like models can be more predictive of what happens in the clinical (in vivo) situation.

Developing complete organs

The natural progression of this line of development is to try to build complete organs from a variety of cells supported on a representative extra-cellular matrix. The first step is to select a suitable scaffold to support the cells and there are now a wide variety of materials available. Some studies are also using de-cellularised animal organs or human donor tissue, which are then re-populated with human cells. Growing tissues or organ-like models requires flow of media to provide both nutrients and oxygen to the cells in a physiologically relevant way so that cell necrosis (a typical problem with keeping tissue slices or 3D cell culture viable) is avoided.

Quasi Vivo features

Once a viable tissue model has been created, the next level is to create organ-like models. Again, flow of media is helpful in providing a mechanism for cell to cell signalling and sustaining the different levels of oxygen tension found in bulky organs.

The Quasi Vivo® system provides a number of features that are helpful for research into more advanced and realistic organ models:

  • Co-culture is made easy by the ability to connect modular chambers, each of which can support a different cell or tissue type.
  • All cells grown on 3D scaffolds benefit from gentle perfusion of media, observed through faster growth and better functionality.
  • Barrier layers can be cultured on membranes or scaffolds between chambers with different media or different flow conditions.
  • Cells can be cultured at the air/liquid interface, providing advanced skin, respiratory epithelium and cornea models.
  • Pressure and flow effects can be studied, which is especially useful in the development of realistic kidney models.
  • Flow of media provides an environment in which long-term (greater than 28 days) cultures can be developed and simplifies the process of refreshing media.

Easy to use system

All these capabilities are available in an easy-to-use system that allows researchers to quickly adapt protocols and techniques previously developed for static culture methods using 6, 24 or microplate wells. If you would like advice on how to develop organ-like models with Quasi Vivo® chambers, then please contact expert@kirkstall.org.

Commercially available and used in 70+ labs worldwide, getting started is easy and cost effective

Contact Us

Address: Kirkstall, Ltd York House,
Outgang Lane, York
North Yorkshire, YO19 5UP

Phone: + 44 (0) 1709 361 241

Business Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm (UK Time)