Sartorius eBook - 22

THE FUTURE OF DRUG DISCOVERY: LIVE 3D CELL ANALYSIS

Developing increasingly complex assays brings

Given the significant financial and time

several challenges for researchers in the field.

investment required for the development

For instance, with dynamic cells in states of flux,

of advanced cell culture assays, continuous

unexpected or divergent changes could arise,

monitoring to avoid wasting valuable and

which impact the interpretation and ultimate

often non-renewable cell resources can be

success of the assay. Cross-contamination of

very beneficial. As a central tenet of cell culture

cells or accumulative changes from increased

technique, cell assay quality control (QC)

passage during cell culture development may

should be performed throughout every stage:

also lead to undesirable phenotypic effects. With

cell culture, cell manipulation, and cell assays

conventional endpoint-related methods, it can

(Figure 1), for which live-cell imaging is ideally

be very challenging to fully understand how

suited.

problems arise if an issue is only detected at the
end of the study.

Introducing live-cell monitoring during cell
culture QC also provides an opportunity for

In live-cell analysis, images and data are collected within the cell incubator in real-time, throughout
the culture, manipulation and kinetic assay phases

Culture

Manipulate

Assay

Response

Response

Continuous
e.g., Incucyte®

Time

Cell health, morphology
and plate uniformity
e.g., proliferation, maturation

Monitor effect of treatment
e.g., differentiation, drug
treatment

Time

Kinetic assay
e.g., shape change,
phagocytosis

Figure 1: Cell culture workflows are continuously supported by real-time live-cell analysis. Monitoring cell health, morphology, and
plate uniformity, e.g., cell proliferation and maturation. Monitoring effects of culture manipulations, e.g., differentiation, activation, and
effects of drug treatment. Monitoring phenotypic assays, e.g., kinetic morphological changes, cell migration, and phagocytosis.

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