Culturing Three Dimensional MDCK cells for Analyzing Intracellular Dynamics

Natalie Elia, Jennifer Lippincott-schwartz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Epithelial cells grown in three dimensional (3D) cultures of extracellular matrix differentiate into a multicellular structure of polarized cells. This process shares many characteristics with the physiological development of an epithelial tissue and the formation of polarity in epithelial cells. Imaging 3D cultures of polarized epithelial cells is therefore a powerful tool to study epithelial architecture and morphogenesis under close to physiological conditions. The new generation of confocal microscopes allows live cell imaging of fluorescently tagged molecules in these cultures. This opens up new opportunities for studying how molecules behave and are distinguished asymmetrically within a 3D setting. This unit discusses technical aspects for culturing and imaging MDCK 3D culture for both fixed 3D cultures and live cell imaging
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent protocols in cell biology
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameCurrent protocols in cell biology / editorial board, Juan S. Bonifacino ... [et al.]


  • 3d culture imaging
  • 3d cultures
  • epithelial cyst
  • live cell imaging
  • mdck cells
  • mdck cyst


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