Paper-based cell culture platform and its emerging biomedical applications

Kelvin Ng, Bin Gao, Kar Wey Yong, Yuhui Li, Meng Shi, Xin Zhao, Zedong Li, Xiao Hui Zhang, Belinda Pingguan-Murphy, Hui Yang, Feng Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


By modifying its physical and chemical properties, paper can be used as an alternative to conventional cell culture substrates. Because it can be stacked into a three-dimensional (3D) structure, which can better mimic the in vivo cell microenvironment. Paper has shown great potential as a 3D cell culture platform for developing normal and diseased models. This platform gives precise control over extracellular matrix (ECM) composition as well as cell distribution and precise analysis of the interactions between cells. Paper-based platforms have been applied for pathophysiological studies and therapeutic intervention studies. In this paper, we first discuss the modifications of the physical and chemical properties of paper to develop various 2D and 3D cell culture platforms. We then review the applications of paper-based cell culture platforms for the construction of in vitro disease models, drug screening, and cell cryopreservation applications. Because of its advantages such as biocompatibility, eco-friendliness, cost efficiency, and ease of large-scale production, we believe that paper-based cell culture platforms would play an important role in the fields of biomedicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-44
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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