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Recent developments in human 3D cell cultures open a new way for virus research. Human primary cell cultures mimic the in vivo physiological environment much closer than standard ‘2D’ cell cultures that have been immortalized or are derived from tumors, and therefore these models can improve virus-host interaction studies and antiviral compound testing, and they provide a new way to propagate viruses which cannot be cultured on standard cell lines.
The overwhelming interest in this subject was illustrated by the fully booked workshop “Application of human 3D cell culture models for virus research”, organized by the EU consortium AIROPico in collaboration with the ESCV.

In the workshop an excellent overview was provided by experts in the field for a mixed audience of scientists and clinical virologists from all over Europe. An overview of products available on the market was presented, such as special media or specific cell cultures, by the companies Stem Cell Technologies, InSphero, and Epithelix. Researchers from different European laboratories presented their work on several virus infections in human airway epithelium (HAE), lung organoids, a blood brain barrier model, liver organoids and gut organoids, and showed how these models were applied in their research. While some of the models are just introduced into virus research and may require technical improvement, other models such as HAE quickly became well-established research tools to study virus host interaction. The workshop also provided attendees ample time for discussing ideas and networking in a friendly and open environment.
The organisers would like to thank all speakers, sponsors and attendees for making this day a great success and we hope to see you all again in the future!!

AIROPico workshop Amsterdam 2015

Sabine van der Sanden 
Lonneke van der Linden 

Stella Koppel

Katja Wolthers