The interaction of the cells within the living bodies with the three-dimensional extracellular matrix is the basic motive for the development of the in vitro 3D cell culture systems, in which the cells are cultured and studied into biomaterials. These systems promise cell cultures into a more physiological environment compared to the traditional 2D cell cultures into flat plastic systems.

A really promising biomaterial for the development of 3D cell cultures is the porous scaffold. Porous collagen scaffolds have already been implemented clinically in regenerative medicine, but their use is limited in in vitro studies. Most of the in vitro applications of porous scaffolds use scaffolds of thickness of a few millimeters. Unfortunately, the difficulties noticed when culturing and studying cells into these porous scaffolds restrict their use by the scientific and industrial community.

Recently, as part of the European research project H2020 ALS-on-a-chip (Dr. D. Tzeranis), a process of fabricating thin porous scaffolds on the top of surfaces, that facilitate imaging studies (e.g. glass), was developed. These thin scaffolds promise to solve difficulties in cell cultures (slow flow of nutrients, heterogeneous distribution of the cells into the biomaterial) and difficulties in cell study (easy procedure, imaging into the 3D environment), when the cells are cultured into porous scaffolds, offering, at the same time, an appropriate 3D environment to the cells. However, they are still is the phase of development and optimization.

The purpose of this diploma thesis is the fabrication and characterization of thin collagen scaffolds (100-200 microns of thickness) in order to notice their physical and mechanical characteristics, as well as, to examine the way that the various fabrications parameters influence these characteristics. The thin porous collagen scaffolds aspire to become a handy and useful cell culture system in which the researchers will culture cellssimilarly as in the plastic plates. This diploma thesis presents the first pilot implementation of the thin collagen scaffolds in a cell study, and specifically, in the study of the influence that two drugs have on malignant melanoma cells.