3D culture is transforming cell biology research and tissue engineering applications. These advanced tools are allowing researchers to develop higher-order structures with cells in vitro. This, in turn, allows cells to grow and interact in an environment more closely mimicking in vivo. However, such revolution in research is also coupled to new challenges. It can be very difficult to apply standard cell analysis techniques on 3D cultures which have long been established in 2D environment. The tight structure of some spheroids, which form a necrotic core, the lack of transparency of many plastic materials used in 3D methods or the dense fiber network of some 3D hydrogels can interfere with basic techniques such as imaging, transfection, cytotoxicity assays or biotherapeutic applications.
RAFTTM 3D Culture System is attempting to address such challenges with 3D methods enabling researchers to work with a 3D system that is well supported with protocols to conduct downstream assays. Lonza continues to develop and support the RAFTTM System with additional optimized protocols that allow for applying standard histological, biochemical and imaging techniques to 3D cultures.