Application Note: Real-Time Live-Cell Analysis of Multi-Spheroid, Co-cultured, 3D Tumor Assays


A growing body of evidence suggests studies involving micro-tissues and organoids provide more predictive and translational observations as compared to 2D monolayer cell models. Additionally, the use of multi-cellular tumor spheroids for oncology and immuno-oncology research is increasing. In-vitro models that attempt to recapitulate the tumor micro-environment may incorporate an extracellular matrix (ECM) and additional cell types, such as stromal, endothelial and immune cells, allowing researchers to assess functionality of drugs, evaluate chemo-resistance and immune-tumor cell interactions.

Current methods for assessing the growth and shrinkage of tumor spheroids are often limited by time-consuming, expensive and/or laborious assay workflows. These may include fluorescent probes that perturb the biology, an end-point analysis that might miss insightful temporal information, or indirect biochemical readouts that overlook valuable morphological insight.

This application note describes the use of the Incucyte® Live-Cell Analysis system and Incucyte® 3D Multi-Tumor Spheroid Assays to study the growth of 3D tumor multi-spheroids in co-culture with either fibroblasts or immune cells, capturing data that may be missed by single time point methods.

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