TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening - 25

PHENOTYPIC SCREENING an e-Book Series Novel 3D Cell Culture Systems

used, our technology does not rely upon solid gel
matrices, scaffolds, micropatterned surfaces, or
hanging-drop assay systems to achieve reproducible
cancer spheroid growth," said Dr. Davies.
"Indeed, many of the inherent technical issues
surrounding these technologies are avoided using
our novel 3D culture technology."
He described the innovative liquid scaffold, the ease
of doing automated 3D cell culture, and the ability to
perform subsequent analyses on the isolated cultured
multicellular constructs-for example, by applying
biochemical, imaging, and Raman assay technologies.
This polymer-based scaffold system has the
properties of a gel, yet it remains a liquid and does
not solidify. The liquid has the same low viscosity,
density, and properties of a regular cell culture media and is appropriate for growing virtually any cell
type, according to Dr. Davies. The modified, natural
polymers in the system form an elastic, reversible
scaffold. Cells added to the liquid do not sink. They
are able to form spherical multicellular constructs
and other 3D structures. The cultured cells can be
labeled, stained, exposed to experimental drugs,
25 | GENengnews.com

evaluated for their responsiveness, and essentially
studied as one would cells grown in a conventional
suspension culture. Addition of a deactivating
agent disrupts the polymers, releasing the 3D
cell structures for harvesting.
The researchers have produced this material in
microliter to liter volumes. They have outlicensed the
technology to Biocroi, which markets the product as
Happy CellĀ® ASM (advanced suspension media).
Studying Drug
Response in 3D Systems
The literature contains many examples of studies
demonstrating differences in drug response in 3D
models for monolayer systems. For instance, in a
paper that appeared July 18 in the online version of
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, General Subjects,
the authors (H.J. Mulhall et al.) evaluated the
different electrical properties of epithelial cancer cells
cultured in 2D and 3D environments and concluded
that "factors such as cell shape and cytoplasmic
trafficking between cells play an important role in
their electrophysiology," highlighting "the need to

use in vitro models more representative of native
tissue when studying cell electrophysiological
properties."
The advantages of a label-free monitoring
system derived of human embryonic stem cellderived cardiomyocyte clusters for predictive in vitro
cardiotoxicity testing includes a more representative
tissue milieu than traditional monolayer cell culture,
as indicated in a paper that appeared July 8 in PLoS
One. The authors (H.-G. Jahnke et al.) described
how they monitored the adverse effects of drug
exposure for more than 35 days while the clusters
retained their structural and electrophysiological
characteristics. The system "provides multiparameter analysis capabilities incorporating
field potential recording, over days or even
weeks," said the authors.
The aim is to grow cells in 3D in vitro culture
systems that mimic as closely as possible in vivo
cellular microenvironments, including the effects
of cell positioning within 3D constructs, cell-to-cell
contacts, the extracellular matrix, cell signaling,
and the factors associated with co-culture of multiple


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TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening

Contents
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