BD's BioCoat cell culture products represent a unique product line. They combine Falcon Multiwell Plates, Dishes, Bottles, Culture Slides, and Glass Coverslips with extracellular matrices. Through a special manufacturing process, the ECM components are applied to the surfaces and fixed. This results in a uniform, optically clear matrix. The associated quality controls guarantee the performance of each lot as well as lot-to-lot consistency. BioCoat products support cell attachment, proliferation and growth, as well as differentiation of primary cells and cell lines in serum-containing and serum-free cultures.
Falcon's extracellular matrices, known as Matrigel, are another important product area. The interaction of cells with the basement membrane is an important factor in the regulation of cell behaviour. In vivo conditions can be simulated very well by using Matrigel in vitro.
BD Biosciences uses a patented technology to derive the Matrigel matrix from EHS mouse sarcoma, a tumor rich in extracellular matrix proteins. The Matrigel matrix consists of laminin, collagen IV, entactin and heparin sulphate proteoglycan. Other ingredients include growth factors, matrix metalloproteinases and others. At 4°C it is a solution but at room temperature it becomes a three-dimensional structure. This mimics the in vivo conditions at the basement membrane in terms of physical and functional view.
Matrigel is particularly suitable for epithelial cells. It promotes the differentiation of hepatocytes, SMC, "glandular cells", neurons et al.
The cells behave more or less as if they were in vivo. The Matrigel matrix thus provides the potential for studies of cell morphology, biochemical functions, migration or invasion, and gene expression.