The CITE is a core facility that uses powerful new research tools to create three-dimensional (3D) tissue culture systems that mimic the body’s tissue architecture. Tissue systems can be engineered to simulate biological processes more closely than has been possible with traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cultures in petri dishes. 3D tissue cultures allow investigators to trace the complex interplay between multiple cell and tissue types in normal and diseased tissue.
3D tissues, as opposed to 2D cell culture, provide a basis for more reliable correlations between in vitro studies and in vivo outcomes during human clinical trials. The CITE can generate normal human tissues as well as tissues that mimic cancerous states in order to provide a “pre-clinical,” experimental setting that can in turn accelerate development in a cost-effective manner of procedures or products for clinical application. These tissues
The CITE currently provides the following core services:
Chemical and genetic modification of 3D tissues to identify or validate cellular targets. 3D tissues are amenable to modification either by direct pharmacological manipulation (bioactive compounds in the tissue culture medium) or by genetic manipulation (viral vectors or siRNA). Modulating the expression or function of specific gene targets in 3D tissues permits investigation of specific pathways in target cells in both normal and cancerous tissue.
Imaging and gene expression analysis of 3D tissues. 3D tissue fabrication provides unique opportunities to analyze readouts that reflect the importance of tissue context in studies of disease-associated pathways. Routine analyses performed in this core include 3D tissue processing, sectioning of frozen or paraffin-embedded tissues, immunohistochemical staining, and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Phenotypic analyses include  cell proliferation (BrdU incorporation),  differentiation markers by immunohistochemical staining,  cell death (TUNEL assay), and  immunohistochemical localization of cell adhesion (cell-cell and cell-matrix proteins) for analyzing alterations in tissue structure. Genomic and proteomic analyses can also be integrated into this repertoire through links with other core facilities.