June Newsletter

3D Cell Culture Webinar Recap

On the 27th of May we hosted our very first webinar entitled ‘3D cell culture: embracing the 3Rs for clinically-relevant results’ given by our CEO, Professor Aline Miller. A big thank you to those who tuned in and posed some of the many questions. In the seminar we discussed the qualities of 3D cell culture compared with 2D systems, what your key considerations need to be when selecting a 3D scaffold and how to optimise your setup for achieving reliable and reproducible results. We went on to highlight recent developments in the area and exemplified how our PeptiGel® and PeptiInk® products are having a positive impact in a range of applications within regenerative medicine, 3D bioprinting and drug discovery.

During the live event we answered as many of your questions as we could. We are pleased to say we are continuing the discussion through weekly live Q&A sessions on Instagram (@Mancbiogel_) over the next few weeks. Our next live session is this Wednesday, the 3rd of June 2-3pm. Follow us to pose any burning question and also to keep up to date with all of our news and be first to hear of our forthcoming events.

If you have any questions regarding the webinar or any of our products and applications, please don’t hesitate to get in contact: info@manchesterbiogel.com

Spheroids versus Organoids – choosing the optimal 3D cell culture platform for your study

The terms spheroids and organoids are not new and they are often used interchangeably due to their similarities. They both refer to cells cultured in 3 dimensions (3D), but there are key differences between the two. These have important implications for their application.

A spheroid is a simple 3D cell culture often generated from a single cell type, or cell aggregates, freely floating typically in ultra-low attachment (ULA) plates. An organoid is a 3D culture of tissue/organ-specific cell types, usually originating from stem cells and progenitors embedded within an ECM hydrogel matrix.

Organoids are highly complex and better mimic the in vivo environment when compared to spheroids or traditional 2D culture systems. Consequently, organoids are gaining increasing interest and are used widely to model diseased tissues, and for testing the response, toxicity and efficacy of new drug entities.

Excitingly, we have shown recently that our animal free PeptiGels® provide a suitable platform to support the growth of a number of different spheroids and organoids, including gut, liver, kidney, cardiac and cancer. Moreover, they give reliable and reproducible data for in vitro 3D models of human development and disease, hence are finding application within drug discovery.

Are you working in this area and interested in increasing your data turn-around time in a cost effective way and gain reproducible and reliable results? If yes, then get in touch now as our expert team is here and happy to provide you with key insights and guidance.

Please get in touch via info@manchesterbiogel.com or here.

PhD CASE PhD projects to expand the application of our PeptiGel® products

Manchester BIOGEL supports several PhD students across the UK and Ireland, with the aim of exemplifying and expanding the application of our PeptiGel® and PeptiInk® products. Two of these CASE award students, Katie McGarry and Niall Treacy, are based in University College Dublin (UCD) and supported through an industry partnership grant with CURAM. In May we were due to meet up in Galway and hear about their latest progress, but as this wasn’t to be due to COVID-19, we had a catch up via Zoom instead – see below!

Katie, supervised by Professor Dermot Brougham, is in her first year of her PhD and she gave a great introduction to UCDs magnetic nanoparticle technology and how she is combining these with our PeptiGels® to fabricate new responsive nanocomposite materials – Magnetic PeptiGels® – for application in investigative biomedical applications, ranging from drug discovery to tissue engineering.

Niall, supervised by Professor John Crean, has just started his second year and he presented his latest results on how PeptiGels® support the growth and differentiation of kidney organoids. He went on to show that these organoids display classic kidney morphology and express tissue-specific markers; demonstrating that PeptiGels® support organ development. This will lead to increased understanding in organ development and disease processes, and is an exciting step towards offering new therapies for kidney disease.

Do you have any ideas for potential collaboration?
Want to find out more about our PhD CASE studentship scheme, then get in touch with us to have a chat about it via info@manchesterbiogel.com

The MBG team are volunteering at the COVID testing centre at Alderley Park

We are extremely proud of Ash, one of our Production Scientists at MBG, and our Post-doc, Jess, for volunteering at the north west COVID testing centre at Alderley Park.

The pair are working very hard, along with all the other volunteers, to ensure as many tests are analysed as possible. A typical day starts with a 5:30am wake up call, followed by relentless amounts of pipetting, before they can relax with a well-deserved coffee!

Keep up the hard work, Ash and Jess, you are both doing amazingly well! All of us at MBG would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody across all sectors working to help combat the virus.

Get in touch

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