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3D Cell Culture Scaffolds Provide New Insights Into Myelination

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Scientists at Stanford University Medical
School have used the Mimetix® aligned 3D cell culture scaffold supplied by AMSBIO
to understand the architecture of the myelin sheaths which insulate neuronal
axons, so they can transmit electrical impulses quickly and efficiently.

Oligodendrocyte cells in the central
nervous system can contact up to 50 axon segments per cell to form such myelin
sheaths. Meng-Meng Fu of Stanford University and co-authors cultured
oligodendrocytes in 3D in vitro on Mimetix® aligned 3D cell culture scaffolds
from AMSBIO, showing that they contain satellite organelles called “Golgi
Outposts”. These organize the complex architecture of microtubules to support
the branching structure of myelin sheaths.

Postdoctoral research fellow - Meng-Meng Fu
commented "The Mimetix 3D microfibers from AMSBIO have allowed us to
understand the 3D shape of oligodendrocytes. This invaluable tool has yielded
information that we would not have been able to acquire using traditional 2D
cell culture platforms. Using 3D microfibers to culture mature oligodendrocytes
for up to 2 weeks, we were able to measure myelin sheath length and number of
sheaths per cell. In addition, we showed in our paper that these data were
consistent with in vivo measurements taken from individual oligodendrocytes in
the cortex."

Mimetix® scaffolds mimic an extracellular
matrix by providing an ideal architectural environment to support the growth of
cells in 3D. They are created by electrospinning medical-grade polymer
poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) into microfibres, which are highly consistent with
regard to fibre diameter and pore size, resulting in excellent reproducibility
of cell-based assays. Mimetix® aligned microfiber scaffolds provide a physical
structure for the 3D culture of cells from tissues such as the central nervous
system, skeletal muscle and heart where orientation influences cell growth and
behavior. The Mimetix® scaffold is incorporated into standard SBS footprint
well plate frames (12- and 96-well) with bases of superior optical clarity and
minimal base distortion. The aligned scaffolds are thin enough to allow
microscopic imaging.