GrowDex® hydrogel - The natural matrix for 3D cell culture

GrowDex - Natural growth

​3D cell culture – more natural results

3D cell culture is an in vitro technology for advanced cell culture applications. Cells grown in 3D mimic more closely natural tissues and organs than cells grown in 2D. 3D cell culture techniques enable e.g. development of cell based drug and chemical tests and discovery of models and treatment for serious diseases.


​GrowDex® 3D cell culture hydrogel with outstanding unique features

​GrowDex® is a flexible 3D cell culture hydrogel providing a number of benefits for 3D cell culture applications:

  • High biocompability with human cells and tissues without any human or animal nature of constituents
  • Simple to use, handle and modify
    • One component system tunable with e.g. water or media
    • Can be stored in room temperature
    • No crosslinking step needed
  • Good viability and functionality of cells
  • The hydrogel can be completely removed by enzymatic degradation while retaining the 3D spheroid structure
  • Uniform quality for reliable and repeatable result

​GrowDex® is an ideal hydrogel and it has several favorable material properties:

  • Non-animal based
  • Highly viscous i.e. high gel force but tunable
  • Dispense by pipette - manual or automated
  • High water retention
  • Tolerates salts, temperatures and pH
  • Not autofluorescent
  • Delivery pH 6-8

3D cell culture with flexibility

GrowDex® is a cellulose nanofibril hydrogel with an ultrastructure and mechanical properties that can be tuned to fulfill the requirements of different cell types. GrowDex® is an hydrogel that forms a supporting matrix around the cells, and supports 3D cell growth. It resembles extracellular matrix (ECM), since the fibril size mimics natural ECM fibers. GrowDex® allows diffusion of small molecules, such as nutrients and oxygen. GrowDex®-based hydrogel cell culture can be further optimized by adding bioactive components to the scaffold. The hydrogel can also be completely deactivated by enzyme treatment.

GrowDex® has been used as a 3D cell culture matrix for different types of cells, such as WA07 and iPS(IMR90)-4 stem cell lines, and HepG2, HepaRG and ARPE-19 cell lines.

3D cell culture hydrogel
Figure 1. iPS-DF19-9-7T cells were cultured in 0.5% GrowDex® for the indicated days. Cell viability is shown by live/dead staining. Pluripotency is shown by the expression of OCT4 in 3D. Images are provided by Yan-Ru Lou et al., University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy, Finland.

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