lung

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A Normal and Biotransforming Model of the Human Bronchial Epithelium for the Toxicity Testing of Aerosols and Solubilised Substances

Zoë C. Prytherch and Kelly A. BéruBé

In this article, we provide an overview of the experimental workflow by the Lung and Particle Research Group at Cardiff University, that led to the development of the two in vitro lung models — the normal human bronchial epithelium (NHBE) model and the lung–liver model, Metabo-Lung™. This work was jointly awarded the 2013 Lush Science Prize. The NHBE model is a three-dimensional, in vitro, human tissue-based model of the normal human bronchial epithelium, and Metabo-Lung involves the co-culture of the NHBE model with primary human hepatocytes, thus permitting the biotransformation of inhaled toxicants in an in vivo-like manner. Both models can be used as alternative test systems that could replace the use of animals in research and development for safety and toxicity testing in a variety of industries (e.g. the pharmaceutical, environmental, cosmetics, and food industries). Metabo-Lung itself is a unique tool for the in vitro detection of toxins produced by reactive metabolites. This 21st century animal replacement model could yield representative in vitro predictions for in vivo toxicity. This advancement in in vitro toxicology relies on filter-well technology that will enable a wide-spectrum of researchers to create viable and economic alternatives for respiratory safety assessment and disease-focused research.
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Filter-well Technology for Advanced Three-dimensional Cell Culture: Perspectives for Respiratory Research

Kelly BéruBé, Aldo Pitt, Patrick Hayden, Zoë Prytherch and Claire Job

Cell culture has long been a valuable tool for studying cell behaviour. Classical plastic substrates are two-dimensional, and usually promote cellular proliferation and inhibit differentiation. Understanding cell behaviour within complex multicellular tissues requires the systematic study of cells within the context of specific model microenvironments. A model system must mimic, to a certain degree, the in vivo situation, but, at the same time, can significantly reduce its complexity. There is increasing agreement that moving up to the third dimension provides a more physiologically-relevant and predictive model system. Moreover, many cellular processes (morphogenesis, organogenesis and pathogenesis) have been confirmed to occur exclusively when cells are ordered in a three-dimensional (3- D) manner. In order to achieve the desired in vivo phenotype, researchers can use microporous membranes for improved in vitro cell culture experiments. In the present review, we discuss the applications of filter-well technology for the advanced 3-D cell culture of human pulmonary cells.
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