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New Research Uses Lasers to Control 3D Cell Culture Growth

Matthias Lütolf and his PhD student Nathalie Brandenberg, two scientists at the EPFL’s Institute of Bioengineering, have developed a new technique for using lasers to carve pathways in hydrogel scaffolds in a 3D cell culture environment to control the growth of the culture.

These pathways and networks can be used to more closely match the natural 3D microscapes in which cells grow within the body. These microscapes are specific to tissue types and control how new cells develop and interact with other parts of the tissue. In the body, these microscapes can adapt dynamically to stimuli from both internal and external sources.

Using short-pulsed lasers, this new technique in microfluidics can be used both before and during the cell culture, allowing for real-time control that matches the dynamic environment that the cells would have in the body.

This technique is a promising new breakthrough in tissue-engineering that will surely advance the understanding and development of organoids and facilitate future advances with 3D cell culture. To learn more about 3D cell culture technology, visit

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