The Blog

Automated 3D Cell Culture and Compound Screening in Physiologically Relevant Tissue Models

Written by Kevin Moore | Apr 25, 2017 9:24:23 AM

SLAS2017 Presentation by Chris Millan, CTO, CellSpring

CellSpring’s 3D Bloom® biopolymer platform is based on an engineered extracellular matrix that supports the growth of cells in a 3D culture environment in the laboratory.Most cell types, including stem cells, primary cells, and solid tumor cells, can be grown in 3D culture in 96-well plates using the CellSpring technology. Screening of drug candidates in these 3D cell cultures to evaluate mechanism of action, efficacy, and dosing levels yields more predictive and physiologically relevant results than can be achieved using 2D cell models.

Two biopolymers comprise the 3D Bloom extracellular environment. When added sequentially to a U-bottomed microwell plate containing cells – liver cells, ovarian cancer cells, or mesenchymal stem cells, for example – they undergo a chemical reaction and combine to encapsulate the cells, forming structures that mimic the natural extracellular matrix in which cells reside in the body. Compared to 2D cell culture, spheroids, and scaffold-based culture systems, this allows for more normal cell morphology and cell-to-cell and cell-to-environment interactions, and for better diffusion of media, drug compounds, and assay reagents to all the cells.

CellSpring partnered with Tecan to automate the entire 3D culture and compound screening process on the Tecan Freedom EVO® workstation. From the seeding of cells in microwell plates to the delivery of media and dosing of different levels of drug compounds, and even performing some of the assays typically used by Pharma during drug development, such as viability assays, automation of Cellspring’s 3D Bloom technology on the Freedom EVO allows for higher throughput drug screening in 3D cultures with a high degree of intra-plate and inter-plate reproducibility.