MimEX GI Tissue Model Systems for 3-D Cell Culture

MimEX 3-dimensional tissue model systems

MimEX GI is a 3-dimensional (3-D) cell culture system for the generation of in vitro gastrointestinal tissue. Utilizing the power of gastric and intestinal adult stem cells, the MimEX GI Model System builds upon the physiological and structural advancements of gastric and intestinal organoids by providing better accessibility, lower variability, regional specificity, and research flexibility.

MimEX GI media and reagents allow for the expansion and differentiation of ground-state, adult stem cell populations from specific regions of the gastrointestinal tract. 3-D tissue generated using the MimEX GI system mimics native organ cytoarchitecture, intestinal crypt-like structures, apical-to-basolateral polarity, Goblet cells, Paneth cells, and Enteroendocrine cells.

Organoids Unfolded

MimEX GI Media and Reagents

MimEX GI consists of media, reagents, and cells for the generation of 3-D gastrointestinal tissue.


MimEX GI Expansion Media

MimEX GI Differentiation Media

MimEX Human Descending Colon Stem Cells

MimEX Irradiated Fibroblasts


MimEX GI Starter Kit

MimEX Tissue Collection Kit

View all MimEX GI Media and Reagents


Learn more about the broader portfolio of MimEX™ Tissue Model Systems.

Visit our webpage on Organoid and 3-D Cell Culture Research for tools to culture gastric and intestinal organoids.

Protocols Videos

This section provides technical tips and support for MimEX™ GI, including plate preparation, adult stem cell expansion, and tips for differentiating adult stem cells into gastrointestinal tissue. View all protocol videos.

Clonal Expansion and Gene Editing Clonal Expansion and Gene Editing Clonal Expansion and Gene Editing

Modeling the Gastrointestinal Epithelium

3-D cell culture models of the gastrointestinal epithelium are quickly being adopted for toxicology, drug discovery, and disease modeling. These more complex models provide a tremendous benefit over cell line and primary cell-based methods, by generating in vitro tissue with a polarized epithelium, intestinal crypt-like structures, and a multi-cellular tissue composition that includes Goblet cells, Paneth cells, and Enteroendocrine cells. In addition to their cytoarchitectural benefits, 3-D models recapitulate physiological attributes of the gastrointestinal tissue. Researchers using current 3-D models, such as gastrointestinal organoids, experience difficulties with model variability, tissue viability, and experimental accessibility. Overcoming these obstacles is paramount for the logistical incorporation of 3-D tissues into high throughput toxicity and disease modeling workflows. MimEX GI, which utilizes adult “ground-state” stem cells to generate 3-D gastrointestinal organ tissue on a 2-D surface, has unique characteristics that address many of the limitations of current 3-D cell culture models of the intestinal epithelium.


Accessible Intestinal Epithelium

Intestinal organoids, grown from induced pluripotent stem cells or isolated intestinal tissue, generate a ‘mini-organ’ featuring multi-cellular polarized epithelium that recapitulates the cytoarchitecture and cellular make-up of the gastrointestinal tract in vivo. In these systems, the apical surface of the polarized intestinal epithelium faces the interior of the organoid. An encapsulated epithelium is problematic for research on intestinal adsorption and nutrition, the microbiome, and drug toxicity screening, where access to the apical surface is paramount.

In MimEX GI, the apical surface of the intestinal epithelium is easily accessible. A monolayer of adult gastrointestinal stem cells are plated in high density onto the membrane of a transwell insert to generate the 3-D tissue. The combined exposure to the MimEX GI Differentiation media, along with an air-liquid interface, induces differentiation of a polarized epithelium where the apical surface is fully accessible for experimentation. The ability to add compounds, drugs, or toxins directly to the intestinal epithelium makes MimEX GI ideal for studies of barrier function or compound and drug toxicity.


3-D Tissue from All Gastrointestinal Regions

While 3-D gastrointestinal cell cultures provide more accurate models than primary cells and cell lines, it is important to recognize the structural and functional diversity of tissues within the system. The esophagus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, ascending colon, and descending colon have distinct cytoarchitectural features and functions. Because of this diversity, generalized 3-D models of the gastrointestinal tract to study intestinal physiology or model disease must be used with caution. MimEX GI reagents enable the isolation and expansion of adult epithelial stem cells from all segments of the gastrointestinal tract, providing the power to create regionally specific tissue models. Modeling specific intestinal regions may provide even more accurate and predictive models compared to pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids.


Disease Modeling

3-D gastrointestinal cell cultures are being used to study a range of intestinal diseases and conditions, including irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, microbiome-epithelium interactions, colon cancer, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Recapitulating disease states in vitro has been challenging even with current pluripotent stem cell-derived and adult tissue-derived 3-D cell culture models. The MimEX™ GI system is ideal for modeling gastrointestinal disease in culture because adult epithelial stem cells, isolated from pathogenic tissue using MimEX GI reagents, will retain the ability to differentiate back into the diseased tissue in vitro. This technology enables the comparison of diseased tissue directly to normal tissue as well as providing access for researchers to study the development and progression of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract.