• Course-No.
  • Course fee
    1.253 €
  • Quarter 1
    28.01. - 31.01.2020

Many questions in scientific research can’t be answered with 2D cell culture systems. They include, for example, how three-dimensional structures influence cell functions and how cells interact with one another. These call for 3D cell cultures, which simulate the in vivo situation more precisely than 2D cell cultures and therefore increase the usefulness of results.

Excerpt from the course program.

The theoretical part of this course includes:

  • Comparison of different 3D models
  • 3D models involving multiple cell types
  • Primary cells for 3D cell culture
  • Scaffold materials
  • Evaluation of 3D experiments
  • Creation of cell spheroids and mechanisms for blood vessel formation
  • In vitro and in vito applications of spheroid technology

The practice part covers:

  • Isolating primary cells for constructing a 3D model
  • Migrating cells in a 3D cell culture system
  • Creating 3D cell models, taking the example of a skin model
  • Creating cell spheroids as a 3D cell model
  • Proangiogenic treatment of multicellular spheroids and analysis of spheroid architectures

Target Group

Technical and scientific research workers with knowledge of cell culture who want to establish three-dimensional cell models in their labs.


Dr. Hans-Jürgen Stark studied biology at RWTH Aachen University, focusing on microbiology and protein chemistry. He then did his doctorate while working in the In Vitro Differentiation and Carcinogenesis department of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. As a postdoc, he focused on optimizing 3D skin models for studying epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. This work led to the establishment of skin equivalents based on authentic fibroblast matrices with potential for sustaining long-term cultures. Since joining the Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis department there, he has been using these models to study the role of extracellular matrices in epidermal regeneration and stem cell attributes.

Iris Martin trained as a biology lab technician at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, finishing in 1996, and then worked in the In Vitro Differentiation and Carcinogenesis department headed by Prof. N.E. Fusenig. Since 2003 she has been in the Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis department under the direction of Prof. P. Boukamp, developing and optimizing three-dimensional models of human skin together with Dr. Hans-Jürgen Stark. She is also involved in studying wound healing, barrier formation and tumorigenesis processes.

Dr. Anja Feldner is a trained biotechnology technical assistant who worked at the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) in Berlin. She completed an undergraduate degree in molecular biotechnology at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, writing her graduation thesis in the Accident and Restorative Surgery department of the Benjamin Franklin Campus of Charité. While working on her doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology of the University of Heidelberg, she investigated the role of biomechanical influences in pathophysiologically induced deformation of blood vessels. Afterward, as a postdoc at the German Cancer Research Center, she studied factors that influence the growth of blood vessels and tumors and the stability of blood vessels, especially in the brain.