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Compelling evidence suggests the limitation and shortcomings of the current and well established cell culture method using multi-well plates, flasks and Petri dishes. These are particularly important when cell functions are sensitive to the local microenvironment, cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. There is a clear need for advanced cell culture systems which mimic in vivo and more physiological conditions. This review summarises and analyses recent progress in three dimensional (3D) cell culture with perfusion as the next generation cell culture tools, while excluding engineered tissue culture where three dimensional scaffold has to be used for structural support and perfusion for overcoming mass transfer control. Apart from research activities in academic community, product development in industry is also included in this review.

Original publication




Journal article


Biotechnology advances

Publication Date





243 - 254


Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.


Cells, Cultured, Extracellular Matrix, Animals, Humans, Cell Culture Techniques, Tissue Engineering, Perfusion, Tissue Scaffolds