Current State-of-the-Art 3D Tissue Models and Their Compatibility with Live Cell Imaging

Katie Bardsley, Anthony J Deegan, Alicia El Haj, Ying Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian cells grow within a complex three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment where multiple cells are organized and surrounded by extracellular matrix (ECM). The quantity and types of ECM components, alongside cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix interactions dictate cellular differentiation, proliferation and function in vivo. To mimic natural cellular activities, various 3D tissue culture models have been established to replace conventional two dimensional (2D) culture environments. Allowing for both characterization and visualization of cellular activities within possibly bulky 3D tissue models presents considerable challenges due to the increased thickness and subsequent light scattering features of such 3D models. In this chapter, state-of-the-art methodologies used to establish 3D tissue models are discussed, first with a focus on both scaffold-free and scaffold-based 3D tissue model formation. Following on, multiple 3D live cell imaging systems, mainly optical imaging modalities, are introduced. Their advantages and disadvantages are discussed, with the aim of stimulating more research in this highly demanding research area.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Parametric Live Cell Microscopy of 3D Tissue Models
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-67358-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-67357-8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Tracking/instrumentation
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Endothelial Cells/metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix/metabolism
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional/instrumentation
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells/metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal/instrumentation
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence/instrumentation
  • Optical Imaging/instrumentation
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed/instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Current State-of-the-Art 3D Tissue Models and Their Compatibility with Live Cell Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this