Comparison of "Dimensionality" of Cancer Cell Culture in Gelfoam® Histoculture and Matrigel

Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1760:205-214. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7745-1_19.


Cell and tissue culture can be performed on different substrates such as on plastic, in Matrigel™, and on Gelfoam®, a sponge matrix. Each of these substrates consists of a very different surface, ranging from hard and inflexible, a gel, and a sponge-matrix, respectively. Folkman and Moscona found that cell shape was tightly coupled to proper gene expression. The flexibility of a substrate is important for cells to maintain their optimal shape. Human osteosarcoma cells, stably expressing a fusion protein of av integrin, and green fluorescent protein (GFP), grew as a simple monolayer without any structure formation on the surface of a plastic dish. When the osteosarcoma cells were cultured within Matrigel, the cancer cells formed colonies but no other structures. When the cancer cells were seeded on Gelfoam®, the cells formed 3-dimensional tissue-like structures. These results indicate that Gelfoam® histoculture, unlike Matrigel™ culture, is true 3-dimensional.

Keywords: Aggregation; Cancer cells; Dimensionality; Fluorescence imaging; Gelfoam®; Green fluorescent protein (GFP); Matrigel™; Monolayer; Rendering; Structures; Tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Collagen*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Laminin*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Proteoglycans*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • matrigel
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Collagen