DiscussionDrug developers are rapidly adopting three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures for drug screening since they provide a more physiologically relevant environment than two-dimensional cell cultures to screen compounds. Spheroids are a simple and well characterized, in vitro tumor model system and when derived from multiple cell types are increasingly being recognized as useful organoid models. Perfecta3D® Hanging Drop Plates (HDPs) facilitate the culture of consistent and controllable spheroids and co-cultures.
Manual manipulations of these spheroid cultures can be laborious and challenges are amplified as sample throughput
increases. Automation can assist 3D cell culture laboratories by reducing the time spent on these manipulations while also improving their consistency. The Biomek FXP Workstation was used to automate the culture and drug sensitivity screening of cancer spheroids in HDPs. Automated steps include the plating of cells and addition of compounds and staining reagents within the hanging drops for high content imaging. The transfer and dissociation of the spheroids into single cell suspensions was also automated to enable flow cytometry analysis. The Biomek FXP Workstation utilized Enhanced Multichannel Selective Tip Pipetting for rapid multichannel liquid transfer to partial plates during the optimization phase of the workflow. By integrating additional components such as incubators and cell analyzers to the Biomek FXP Workstation, the entire workflow can be automated in a scheduled fashion that further minimizes user interventions and helps manage overlapping experiments.