John Garner

Purdue nanoHUB details Akina’s 3DCellMaker

Blog Post created by John Garner on Nov 14, 2016

The PolySciTech division of Akina, Inc. ( provides a wide array of research products including 3DCellmaker for culturing of cells in a three-dimensional structure. 3DCellMaker is a widely applicable thermogel-based cell-growth platform which enables 3D culture of cell structures. Purdue University’s latest nanoHUB newsletter article ( discusses 3DCellMaker for cell growth.

  “Culturing cells in 3D structures provides many advantages over 2D models. Cells in 3D structures often behave differently from those in 2D cultures. For example, cancer cells organized in 3D spheroids are often more resistant to anticancer drugs than cells in 2D cultures. Several types of commercially available products allow researchers to produce multicellular spheroids. The products are classified into extracellular matrices based on cellular extracts, (ii) natural polymers, and (iii) cell culture plates with non-cell adherent surface or with no surface for the cells to attach. Each method has its own advantages and limitations. Recently, we developed simple polymeric systems that allow cells to form 3D structures. The polymers are named “3DCellMaker” for its ability to culture various types of cells and cell mixtures in 3D. 3DCellMakers are inverse themosensitive gels (thermogels), i.e., they remain in liquid form at room temperature or lower and become a gel at 37 °C. These thermogels are poloxamers-poly(ester-urethane) copolymers or stearate-modified methyl cellulose. For the culture process, the cells can be placed on top of the formed gels, or they can be mixed with the thermogels at low temperature before incubating at 37 °C. The simplicity, and low cost, of using 3DCellMaker allows culturing of various cell types in 3D for high throughput screening. The synthetic nature of the 3DCellMaker makes it easy to control the gel’s properties. The 3DCellMaker also allows culture of cells with defined additives, under serum-free conditions. 3DCellMaker thermogels are available for free for researchers at Purdue University.”