CellFit aims to refine our understanding of the “in vivo” microenvironment, reduce the differences when translating it “in vitro”, to create 3-D total guidance ex vivo culture systems for the replacement of animal use. This will be achieved by bringing together researchers and biotechnology companies from different European countries, who are currently working on various aspects of the specific models that will be enforced in the present research.
The programme of CellFit is focusing on a more refined understanding of the natural
tissue environment with a specific emphasis to the existing 3-dimensional (3-D) organ and tissue architecture as well as to the local gradient both of chemical and mechanical types. Based on the acquired information, it will be possible to define complex ex vivo culture systems that may successfully replace the inefficient, low physiological 2-D in vitro models that typically provide a static environment, with homogenous cell populations, cultured on two-dimensional (2-D) plastic or glass substrates. We feel that this aspect may constitute a severe limit for our present understanding of many biological processes in development, tissue homeostasis as well as disease, since it recapitulates the physiological behaviour of cells insufficiently. This Action will develop useful tools to exploit environmental cues to drive cells towards a specific fate, thereby mimicking cell guidance conditions as they occur in vivo. This will allow designing of more physiological models.
Refine the present understanding of natural tissue environment with specific regard to 3-dimensional (3-D) organization and gradient of chemical and mechanical signals.
Replace 2-D models
Replace the inefficient low physiological 2-D in vitro models with “3-D total guidance” models that more closely mimic the in vivo milieu.
Determine and standardize
Determine and standardize the most adequate in vitro system according to the specific pathology and the scientific question/pharmacological management.
Reduce the use of animals
Reduce the number of animals used to address similar questions with a particular emphasis on the concept of non-invasive investigations.