3D Culture

Continuously culture cells in 3D and harvest large amounts of secretome

In a hollow fibre bioreactor cells may grow post-confluently in 3 dimensions around porous, semi-permeable, protein-retentive “capillaries”. These are conditions that more closely resemble the in-vivo situation compared to monolayer culture. Very high cell densities of around 1E+8 cells/ml can be maintained continuously for long periods.

Hollow fibre bioreactor fits in a standard incubator for convenient cell culture scale-up

Growth of cells around porous, semi-permeable hollow fibres, perfused with media. Small molecules such as glucose, metabolites and antibiotics can easily cross the fibres.

A complete FiberCell Hollow Fibre Bioreactor will fit neatly on the shelf of a standard lab incubator, or inside a hypoxic chamber, for continuous culture of more than 1E+9 cells in a 20ml cartridge. Depending on the experiment, this large number of cells can mean enormous gains in convenience and efficiency. Smaller and larger cartridges are available.

Hollow fibre bioreactor fits in a standard incubator for convenient cell culture scale-up

A FiberCell® Bioreactor, complete with media reservoirs, will easily fit inside a standard incubator. No special connections required.

Collect enriched secretome

Highly enriched conditioned media can be periodically collected, e.g. for secretome analysis / proteomics or to obtain large amounts of concentrated extracellular vesicles. FiberCell hollow fibre cartridges are available in a range of sizes with protein-retentive 5Kd or 20Kd molecular weight cut-offs. A special 0.1µm fibre is also available.

Avoid serum

Under high cell density bioreactor conditions it is usually possible to completely replace serum with a chemically-defined substitute called CDM-HD that is protein-free and containing only low molecular weight components. In this way, a FiberCell bioreactor can further help the researcher to recapitulate in vivo growth conditions where cells are not exposed to serum.


Successful co-culture tissue modelling has been achieved using the FiberCell bioreactor, for example to create a bone marrow model or to investigate transendothelial migration of lymphocytes with endothelial cells grown as artificial capillaries, under flow conditions, on the luminal side of 0.1µm pore size fibres. Article: 3-D in vitroModels using Hollow Fiber Bioreactors

Other 3D Culture Applications

Because the FiberCell System is capillarized with porous fibres it has inspired the development of various 3D culture projects, for example:

Long term gut model for culturing large amounts of C.parvum

Bone marrow model

Artificial capillaries model with endothelial cells inside fibres under flow and shear stress

3D Culture References:

See our customer publications

Starter kit for 3D culture and collection of secretome

Cat.# Description Qty
P3202 FiberCell® Systems Duet 1
C2011 High Flux PS Cartridge 20 kd (3000 cm2 – 20 ml)* 1
A – – – 33mm, 38mm or 45mm Reservoir Cap 1
CDM-HD Serum replacement 1

* Option: C2018 High Flux PS Cartridge 20 kd (1.2 m2 – 70 ml), providing 4 X more fibre surface area.

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