0358506-A2 is referenced by 72 patents.
The present invention relates to a three-dimensional cell culture system which be used to culture a variety of different cells and tissues in vitro for prolonged periods of time. In accordance with the invention, cells derived from a desired tissue are inoculated and grown on a pre-established stromal support matrix. The stromal support matrix comprises stromal cells, such as fibroblasts actively growing on a three-dimensional matrix. Stromal cells may also include other cells found in loose connective tissue such as endothelial cells, macrophages/monocytes, adipocytes, pericytes, reticular cells found in bone marrow stroma, etc. The stromal matrix provides the support, growth factors, and regulatory factors necessary to sustain long-term active proliferation of cells in culture.; When grown in this three-dimensional system, the proliferating cells mature and segregate properly to form components of adult tissues analogous to counterparts found in vivo.