CellFit set out to refine our understanding of the “in vivo” microenvironment, reduce the differences when translating it “in vitro” and to create 3-dimensional (3D) total guidance ex vivo culture systems for the replacement of animal use. This was to be achieved by bringing together researchers and biotechnology companies from different European countries, who are currently working on various aspects of these models.
CellFit was focused on refining understanding of the natural tissue environment with a specific emphasis to the existing 3D organ and tissue architecture as well as local gradient of both chemical and mechanical types.
Using the information gathered during the study, CellFit aimed to define complex ex vivo culture systems that may successfully replace the inefficient, low physiological two-dimensional (2D) in vitro models.
These old models typically provide a static environment, with homogenous cell populations, cultured on 2D plastic or glass substrates. We feel that this type of model limits understanding of many biological processes in development, tissue homeostasis and disease, since it doesnt accurately represent the physiological behaviour of cells.
This Action set out to 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.