Heterogenous morphogenesis of Caco-2 cells reveals that flow induces three-dimensional growth and maturation at high initial seeding cell densities

Asli Aybike Dogan, Martin Dufva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Here, we introduce a customized hanging insert fitting a six-well plate to culture Caco-2 cells on hydrogel membranes under flow conditions. The cells are cultured in the apical channel-like chamber, which provides about 1.3 dyn/cm2 shear, while the basolateral chamber is mixed when the device is rocked. The device was tested by investigating the functional impact of the initial seeding density in combination with flow applied at confluency. The low seeding density cultures grew in two dimensional (2D) irrespective of the flow. Flow and higher seeding density resulted in a mixture of three dimensional (3D) structures and 2D layers. Static culture and high cell seeding density resulted in 2D layers. The flow increased the height and ZO-1 expression of cells in 2D layers, which correlated with an improved barrier function. Cultures with 3D structures had higher ZO-1 expression than 2D cultures, but this did not correlate with an increased barrier function. 2D monolayers in static and dynamic cultures had similar morphology and heterogeneity in the expression of Mucin-2 and Villin, while the 3D structures had generally higher expression of these markers. The result shows that the cell density and flow determine 3D growth and that the highest barrier function was obtained with low-density cultures and flow.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume120
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1667-1677
ISSN0006-3592
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Intestinal barriers
  • Intestinal morphogenesis
  • Microphysiological systems
  • Perfusion
  • See-saw rocking

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