Innovative 3D Cell Culture Tools for Life Sciences

SeedEZ™ – 3D invasion and chemo-invasion assay

Better modeling of tumor microenvironments and testing of drug combination strategies



3D culture - hepatosphere in Matrigel

Gel models ECM

Most cell types need interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) to maintain their viability and function. A polarized cell organization, differentiated state and gene expression depend on ECM.

Extracellular matrix is the substrate for cell migration and invasion. For these processes to happen, ECM needs to be present and often degraded for cells to migrate, invade, remodel or deposit a new matrix. For all these reasons, ECM-based 3D cell cultures have become standard. Still, handling is difficult and throughput low.

Solution: SeedEZ. It makes the seeding, handling and screening of consistent 3D gel cell cultures easy. Next, SeedEZ makes consistent ECM gel barriers for 3D cell migration and invasion assays.

SeedEZ wicks even protein-rich ECM solutions (16 mg/ml protein Matrigel), allows to localize drugs in one or more cell culture spots, form gradients of applied test compounds, yet enables the handling of otherwise frail and soft gel cell cultures using tweezers.



Hepatocellular carcinoma 3D culture

Tumor 3D cell culture model

SeedEZ answers the need for a complete 3D cell culture system. It enables use of heterogeneous cell populations including normal and neoplastic cells, co-culturing with endothelial or stromal cells, the addition of ECM components addressing cell-ECM signaling, interactions, cell migration and invasion, etc.

You may spot populations side-by-side or seed them in different SeedEZ substrates and then overlap in a SeedEZ stack. The latter approach is commonly used in angiogenesis assays and multi-layered tissue modeling.

For most 3D cell migration, invasion, chemo-invasion and angiogenesis assays you may use either spot-a-culture or stack-and-culture method, and even their combinations.

Simply, spot a culture, an ECM, a drug, or a polymer. Alternatively, add the ECM-cell suspension to a substrate and then overlap it with another substrate having drug in an ECM for a chemo-invasion assay. In the end, separate the substrates and analyze cells in each.


3D chemo-invasion assay

3D chemo-invasion assay

As shown in the above figure, setting up a "spot" 3D chemo-invasion assay is simple. Spot cells at the center and apply test compounds to the lobes. In the end, take a circular biopsy tool and punch out samples from each lobe to analyze.

Next, study the fate of 3D cultures in the lobes when invading cells are applied at the center. Add test compounds to the lobes and/or center at any time.

You may increase drug concentration lobe-to-lobe, or compare the efficacy of mono- versus combination drug strategy lobe-to-lobe.

Impressive? There is even more. SeedEZ forms gradients of applied guidance cues, modulators of cell motility, invasion, and angiogenesis and enables their in situ testing, with cells in a 3D cell culture.

To simultaneously test several agents, we offer SeedEZ daughter products for migration, invasion, and angiogenesis assays:

Meet GradientEZ – gradients made easy

SeedEZ transforms 3D gel cell cultures into high-throughput and high-content tools

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