Cells in Extracellular Matrices

One common way of culturing cells in three dimensional space is through the use of extracellular matrix-based hydrogels, such as Matrigel. Cells are grown in an extracellular matrix (ECM) to mimic an in vivo environment. Differences between Matrigel and 2D cell cultures can be readily seen by their different cell morphologies, cell polarity, and/or gene expression. Hydrogels can also enable studies on cell migration and 3D structure formation, such as endothelial cell tube formation in angiogenesis studies.