Practical aspects and application of slice culture and explant models in biomedical research

Course Type
Continuing professional development

Organotypic slice cultures and tissue explant models provide ideal systems for pre-clinical pharmacology studies since they retain the 3-dimensional cellular architecture of intact tissues, without suffering the challenges associated with delivering relevant drug concentrations to whole animals. They also allow easy analysis of various cellular and molecular parameters through approaches such as live-imaging, ELISA and flow cytometry, while permitting reductions in animal use that are complementary to the 3Rs principles. 

Although slice cultures have been widely used in the neurosciences for the last 30 years, there is now a growing awareness of their value in a range of biomedical fields from respiratory medicine to cancer. To meet this growing interest our workshop showcases a range of biomedically relevant slice culture and explant models.

The workshop is divided into two parts, a series of vritual seminars, and a suite of in-person laboratory demonstrations:  The seminars,taught by experts in the field, will cover various topics related to slice and explant models incuding the rational and advantages of using  slice cultures / explants, the advantages of modelling cellular behaviours in 3D culture systems, the practical aspects and and application of human lung and cartilage explants, and the use of rodent brain slice cultures to study central nervous system myelination. Thepractical sessions, which will take place in University of Birmingham research laboratories, will provide first hand experience of three models: human cartilidge, human lung slices, and mouse brain slice cultures, plus a lab session demonstrating 3D cell culture methods.These sessions will show how the models are setup and maintained, and provide examples of their application in biomedical research. Each session will run over the course of a morning or afternoon, and sessions will be repeated twice over the course of two days. Attendees have the option to attenend two or four sessions depending on their interests. Attendees selecting two sessions will register for one day, while the four session option will require attendance over two days. 

This course offers attendees the opportunity to learn slice and explant culture methods for a range of different tissue systems and will be delivered by experienced scientists who routinely apply these methods in their research.

This short course is aimed at industry / pharmaceutical researchers and academic researchers (PhD, early / mid-career PIs)

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, attendees will:
• Understand the principle advantages and limitations of using organtypic slice cultures and explants for biomedical research 
• Have knowledge of potential applications in a chosen tissue system 
• Have first-hand experience of the procedures required to produce slice cultures/explants in a chosen system
• Experience of an example experiment and methods for analysing the sytem
• Have interactions with relevant suppliers of equipment and instruments who can support the set up of these models at the attendees home laboratory

Where will this course be held?

Medical School (B1 on campus map), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT.

The University is easily accessible by train, the University Station is only two stops from Birmingham New Street.

 There are two hotels on campus, both within a 10 minute walk of the Medical School.

Edgbaston park Hotel (G23 on campus map)

Lucas House Hotel (G16 on campus map)


Tuesday 9th - Wednesday 10th November 2021

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