Chromatin 3D: Chromatin Dynamics in Development and Disease

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network Project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

The Chromatin 3D Researchers during their Summer School in Greece, 2016

Team photo.jpg


Project Overview

Chromatin is a material composed of DNA and histones and serves a number of functions including efficient packaging of DNA into the nucleus of the cell and protection of the DNA. Chromatin allows the action of DNA-dependent transactions by reversibly alternating between compact and relaxed structural states which allows DNA replication, DNA recombination and DNA repair. Understanding how chromatin structures assemble and are maintained, which is largely misunderstood at present, could help with understanding the mechanisms behind disease. Abnormal expression patterns or genomic alterations in chromatin and its regulators can lead to the defects in the overall 3D structure can be detrimental to the cell and ultimately lead to pathologies such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The Chromatin 3D Project will allow the multidisciplinary study of molecular, cellular and systems biology by assembling a group of 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) to be trained by a mix of academic and non-academic partners with expertise in these related fields. The training will provide them with a range of transferrable skills to promote their independent careers, their own scientific goals and future employment prospects.

To read more about the project, click the logo below.



AvantiCell’s Role

The ITN Chomatin3D consists of eleven different partner institutions throughout the EU.

The role of AvantiCell (ESR 15) is to contribute novel cell-based assays, which include disease‑specific primary cells cultured in a more in vivo‑like environment using cutting‑edge 3D cell culture methodologies, such as additive bioprinting, which meet more microenvironmental cues than conventionally used 2D cell culture techniques. In cooperation with Chromatin3D consortium partners it will be ensured that these cell-based assays meet the requirement for chromatin‑targeted strategies. Additionally, 3D models are cryopreserved using in‑house developed cryoprotectants to bring them into a ready‑to‑use plug and play format. This allows a post‑project commercial exploitation of the product. 

Project Update - April 2018 

Good progress has been made during the course of the project, with success in 3D culture of breast cancer cells using electrospun scaffolds and bioprinting methodologies. Cells cultured in 3D have proven tumour features. ACS cryopreservation technology is currently being applied to and optimised in these 3D models.




Chromatin 3D is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA)

Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European

Union under the Horizon2020 Framework Programme

(Grant Agreement 622934) and co-ordinated by FORTH.