Media additives to promote spheroid circularity and compactness in hanging drop platform†
Three-dimensional spheroid cultures have become increasingly popular as drug screening platforms, especially with the advent of different high throughput spheroid forming technologies. However, comparing drug efficacy across different cell types in spheroid culture can be difficult due to variations in spheroid morphologies and transport characteristics. Improving the reproducibility of compact, circular spheroids contributes to standardizing and increasing the fidelity of the desired gradient profiles in these drug screening three-dimensional tissue cultures. In this study we discuss the role that circularity and compaction has on spheroids, and demonstrate the impact methylcellulose (MethoCel) and collagen additives in the culture media can contribute to more compact and circular spheroid morphology. We demonstrate that improved spheroid formation is not a simple function of increased viscosity of the different macromolecule additives, suggesting that other macromolecular characteristics contribute to improved spheroid formation. Of the various macromolecular additives tested for hanging drop culture, MethoCel provided the most desirable spheroid formation. Additionally, the higher viscosity of MethoCel-containing media improved the ease of imaging of cellular spheroids within hanging drop cultures by reducing motion-induced image blur.
- This article is part of the themed collection: In celebration of Michael Sefton’s 65th birthday