Cells sense and respond to matrix stiffness, an effect named mechano-sensing. Mechanical properties of the micro-environment deeply impact cell behaviour, including transcriptional regulation3, protein synthesis4, endocytosis5, and malignant progression6. But up to date, cell culture is still performed in plastic dishes, whose rigidity is up to one billion times stiffer than the in vivo cell environment !
Our organs are soft and mechanically textured
Mean elastic Young’s moduli of human organs
Zoom on the local stiffness of a human pituitary gland (hypohysis) tissue, measured by force indentation atomic force microscopy. Adapted from Bouchonville et al, 2016
The failures of standard culture dishes to maintain the phenotype of many primary cells, or by appearing as wrong predictors to translate promising in vitro results into in vivo clinical success support the evidence than these standard tools have now reached their limits. Then, now let’s reinvent cell culture using soft, mechano-mimetic culture plates!
Soft and mechano-mimetic culture plates
Cell & Soft have developed ready-to-use mechano-mimetic culture plates that mimic the mechanical and chemical properties of the physiologic microenvironment, from brain to cartilage.