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Generation of three-dimensional multiple spheroid model of olfactory ensheathing cells using floating liquid marbles

AuthorsVadivelu, Raja K.; Ooi, Chin H.; Yao, Rebecca-Qing; Tello Velasquez, Johana; Pastrana, Erika; Díaz-Nido, Javier ; Lim, Filip ; Ekberg, Jenny A. K.; Nguyen, Nam-Trung
Issue Date14-Oct-2015
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 5: 15083 (2015)
AbstractWe describe a novel protocol for three-dimensional culturing of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which can be used to understand how OECs interact with other cells in three dimensions. Transplantation of OECs is being trialled for repair of the paralysed spinal cord, with promising but variable results and thus the therapy needs improving. To date, studies of OEC behaviour in a multicellular environment have been hampered by the lack of suitable three-dimensional cell culture models. Here, we exploit the floating liquid marble, a liquid droplet coated with hydrophobic powder and placed on a liquid bath. The presence of the liquid bath increases the humidity and minimises the effect of evaporation. Floating liquid marbles allow the OECs to freely associate and interact to produce OEC spheroids with uniform shapes and sizes. In contrast, a sessile liquid marble on a solid surface suffers from evaporation and the cells aggregate with irregular shapes. We used floating liquid marbles to co-culture OECs with Schwann cells and astrocytes which formed natural structures without the confines of gels or bounding layers. This protocol can be used to determine how OECs and other cell types associate and interact while forming complex cell structures.
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