3D human and/or animal ex vivo precision cut tissue slices

Commonly used acronym: PCTS

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Intestinal tissue


Method keywords
  • precision cut tissue slices
  • toxicology
  • drug screening
  • pathology
  • Metabolism
  • ex-vivo
  • organotypic model
  • lung disease
Scientific area keywords
  • cancer
  • infection
Method description

Ex-vivo tissue explants (precision cut tissue slices) prepared with the Krumdieck Tissue Slicer are living, three-dimensional tissue slices closely resemble the organ from which it is prepared, with all the cell types present in their original tissue-matrix configuration where physiological and organ functionality details are preserved. The cells are biologically active and are surrounded by their original microenvironment, where they communicate with each other and respond to cell-specific stimuli. This method has great potential in increasing and improving the translation of research to the clinic. These slices can be used in a wide range of applications from including studies of; 1) physiology of disease, 2) drug transport, toxicity and efficacy, 3) inflammatory processes, 4) functional changes, 5) disease models. We are able to perform high content screening of PCTS for drug screening and for fundamental research applications.

Lab equipment
  • - Krumdieck Tissue Slicer
  • - Laminar flow hood
  • - Microplate reader

Pros, cons & Future potential

  • 1) resemble the in-vivo environment,
  • 2) are reproducible,
  • 3) are low cost and are consistent with the 3Rs principle proposed by Russel and Burch: they replace, reduce and refine animal testing, and finally
  • 4) they permit the testing in complex human systems.
  • - Different slicing strategies need to be employed from the slices prepared from different organs.
  • - Culture conditions have to be optimized according to the type and origin of the tissue.

We are working on PCTS on chip technology to improve the culture conditions improving their perfusion and oxygenation conditions.

Future & Other applications

We are currently busy with optimizing freezing protocols for these tissue slices in order to create a biobank of animal and patient derive tissues to facilitate the availability of material for drug screening in the future.

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Bella Manshian


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL)
Imaging and Pathology