Current Cell and Tissues Based In vitro Models and Applications

Dr Dhrubojyoti Sen, Shouvik Sarkar


The purpose of in vitro models is to address paradigm shifts in research related to the following: i) a trend toward saying goodbye to flat biology, i.e. developing tools that mimic human tissues/organs and diseases, and ii) reducing/eliminating the need for animal experiments in research. Models can be developed at different scales (macro, meso, micro, and nano) depending on whether they explain behavior at the whole system level, behavior at the level of molecular clusters, or behavior at the molecular level. The ultimate objective is to reduce the cost and time of experimental measurements and get satisfactory results. Drugs and therapeutics are pharmacokinetically influenced by the anatomy of the vascular system, which contributes to the functioning of all essential organs, including ADME. In this way, experimental models of blood vessels can significantly contribute to developing drug formulations that are tailored to the individual. It has also been used in food testing and developing neutraceuticals. The growing availability of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from healthy individuals and patients has driven advances in the development of experimental in vitro models of vascular structures: endothelial cells, pericytes, and vascular smooth muscle cells can now be generated from hiPSCs and used in ‘microfluidic chips’ (also known as ‘organ-on-chip’ technology) as a basis for in vitro blood vessel models. The use of natural, synthetic, and hybrid material-based hydrogels in 3D culture provides 'close-to-in-vivo' structures because of the high water content and flexibility they provide, which mimic natural tissues and can be used for various organs. The in vitro simulation models have also been upgraded to study the metabolism of phytochemical absorption using various working models. In vitro models have thereby proven essential to improving the quality of life for patients with a wide range of comorbidities.

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