3D cell culture models for oral tissue research

Innovative three-dimensional (3D) cell culture techniques are becoming increasingly important in oral tissue research, as a growing number of in vitro studies point to more tissue-specific cell behavior in response to physiologically orientated 3D microenvironments when compared to traditional 2D-monolayer configurations. In this context, we are using micro-structured polymer chip as a scaffold that was developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and enables cells to self-assemble into adherent multicellular aggregates of uniform size. Due to the specialized characteristics of the array design, cells can be cultured under 3D static conditions as well as under dynamic conditions when using a compatible microfluidic bioreactor. In order to improve continuously our 3D cell culture models we work in close cooperation with our reserach partners at KIT. By using this chip-system we successfully established an osteogenic 3D cell culture model and identified bone site-specific differences between primary human osteoblasts derived bone grafts with respect to their osteogenic and osteoclastogenic potential, and provided new information on the differential vitamin D responsiveness of human osteoblasts in different anatomical regions.

Assoc. Prof. (PD) Brigitte Altmann, Ph.D.

Dept. of Prosthetic Dentistry Freiburg University Medical Center

Section Head, Cell Biology-inspired Oral Tissue Regeneration


Habilitation at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany

Doctor of Philosophy (Biology), Heidelberg University and Institute for Biological Interfaces-1, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Diploma in Biology, University of Karlsruhe, Germany


Institute for Biological Interfaces-1, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Dept. of Oral, Maxillofacial, & Regional Plastic Surgery, Freiburg University Medical Center, Germany

Dept. of Prosthetic Dentistry, Freiburg University Medical Center, Germany