Product News: Understanding the 3D shape of oligodendrocytes

18 Dec 2019


AMSBIO's Mimetix® aligned 3D cell culture scaffold has been cited in pioneering research published by scientists at Stanford University Medical School. The research aimed to understand the architecture of the myelin sheaths which insulate neuronal axons for the quick and efficient transmission of electrical impulses.

Oligodendrocyte cells in the central nervous system can contact up to 50 axon segments per cell to form such myelin sheaths. Meng-Meng Fu of Stanford University and co-authors cultured oligodendrocytes in 3D in vitro on Mimetix® aligned 3D cell culture scaffolds from AMSBIO, showing that they contain satellite organelles called “Golgi Outposts”. These organize the complex architecture of microtubules to support the branching structure of myelin sheaths.

Postdoctoral research fellow - Meng-Meng Fu commented "The Mimetix 3D microfibers from AMSBIO have allowed us to understand the 3D shape of oligodendrocytes. This invaluable tool has yielded information that we would not have been able to acquire using traditional 2D cell culture platforms. Using 3D microfibers to culture mature oligodendrocytes for up to 2 weeks, we were able to measure myelin sheath length and number of sheaths per cell. In addition, we showed in our paper that these data were consistent with in vivo measurements taken from individual oligodendrocytes in the cortex." 

Mimetix® scaffolds mimic an extracellular matrix by providing an ideal architectural environment to support the growth of cells in 3D. They are created by electrospinning medical-grade polymer poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) into microfibres, which are highly consistent with regard to fiber diameter and pore size, resulting in excellent reproducibility of cell-based assays. Mimetix® aligned microfiber scaffolds provide a physical structure for the 3D culture of cells from tissues such as the central nervous system, skeletal muscle, and heart where orientation influences cell growth and behavior. The Mimetix® scaffold is incorporated into standard SBS footprint well plate frames (12- and 96-well) with bases of superior optical clarity and minimal base distortion. The aligned scaffolds are thin enough to allow microscopic imaging.

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