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User: Joan Brugge, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass. Project: Investigating morphogenesis of 3-D structures such as luminal epithelial tissue Related Articles Shaping Up Commerical 3D matrices Tips for setting up 3-D cell cultures Home-made matrix Mixed gel Planar imaging Problem: Cells may behave diffe

Josh P. Roberts
May 31, 2008

User:
Joan Brugge, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.

Project:
Investigating morphogenesis of 3-D structures such as luminal epithelial tissue

Problem:
Cells may behave differently depending on which lot of reconstituted basement membrane extract (BME) they're grown on. Because BME is a natural product - most types, such as BD's Matrigel, are made from extracts of mouse sarcomas - it's difficult to get uniform, consistent preparations, even from the same manufacturer.

Solution:
BME provides Brugge's cells with developmental cues that they're accustomed to seeing in vivo, but different preparations send different cues. "We routinely have to screen the BME to find a lot that actually behaves uniformly relative to those that we've used in the past," Brugge notes.

When Brugge's lab is running low, she requests samples that are within certain...