Manipal Journal of Science and Technology


Two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures have been the most commonly used technique since cell culture was first introduced. However, these cultures do not accurately represent animal physiology as many factors that play an important role in the growth of animal cells are overlooked. Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture techniques provide higher accuracy in recreating the microenvironment of native tissues. But, 2D cell culture techniques are still preferred for the majority of animal cell cultures as these are well established and relatively inexpensive. Various techniques have been developed for 3D cell culture but these systems are highly complex as the number of parameters has to be considered to achieve the desired functionality. As 3D cell culture is a novel technique, it is not well understood and hence not very easy to handle, which affects their automation and reproducibility thereby increasing their cost. In the present review, we compare the advantages of 3D cell culture techniques over conventional 2D cell cultures, briefly discuss various techniques that have been developed and also have a brief look at the applications of 3D cell culture techniques in healthcare. Finally, we look at the future challenges plaguing the acceptance of this novel technique.

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