In vitro cell models are essential for validating the efficacy of drug candidates. However, large numbers of compounds are discontinued in subsequent phases of clinical studies. The reason for these failures is poor predictability of 2D cell cultures1, which could not mimic physiological conditions. Thus, it is important that the cell model used in testing drug candidates is physiologically relevant and closely mimics in vivo conditions by expressing appropriate receptors, drug transporters and essential proteins for cell growth and survival.
Cells grown in 3D environment (3D scaffolds, 3D hydrogels, 3D multiwell plates and 3D bioreactors) influences the spatial organization of receptors and interactions with neighboring cells, thereby influencing the gene expression and cellular behavior2. A number of studies demonstrated that behaviors of cells in 3D cultures are similar to the in vivo conditions; some of the genes and proteins which are modulated in 3D cultures in comparison with 2D cultures across various cell lines are listed below.