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[Aggregate cell cultures]
Aggregate cultures are primary cell cultures prepared from dissociated fetal cells. In rotation-mediated culture under rigorously controlled conditions, the isolated cells are able to reaggregate spontaneously, and to form a large number of practically identical spheres. The three-dimensional cell structure in each aggregate provides a maximum of cell-cell interactions, and thus enables the cells to rearrange and to develop in an organotypic fashion. Relatively simple techniques are now available which permit the preparation of aggregate cultures from fetal brain and liver cells. Since they can be grown in a chemically defined medium, and because they mimic several morphogenetic events occurring in vivo, these cultures offer a unique model for developmental studies. Moreover, they may be used as well for routine testing, for example for screening purposes in toxicology, and thus contribute to the reduction of animal experiments.
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