Over the past 10 years, 3D in vitro & ex vivo assay platforms using scaffolds, extracellular matrices (ECM) and scaffold-/ECM-free formats have been increasingly used to create physiologically relevant models of organs and diseases. Such models have been extensively used as tools for analysis of drug activity response and monitoring potential changes at subcellular levels, to identify downstream targets post drug treatment. The cell response to drug treatment is not just determined by the inherent characteristics of the target cell, but is also influenced and at times controlled by signals derived from other cells and tissue type (such as stroma, fibroblasts, distinct immune cell compartments) either within the tumor microenvironment or the organ microenvironment. This characteristic makes finding effective therapy very difficult if the in vitro model does not recapitulate the in vivo components that mediate drug mechanisms of action
Patient-derived tissue generally contains several cell types, such as cancer cells, stromal cells, endothelial cells and immune infiltrate. Our technology allows the generation of multicellular spheroids which contain tumour cells and stromal cells, as well as various immune cells. This provides a highly relevant platform for your early to late stage drug development and profiling projects.
The composition of the multicellular structures can be varied over time, sequentially adding cells at any point during the experiment. By testing drugs on spheroids consisting of many cell types, the effect of your molecule on all cell types of interest can be examined in a physiologically relevant 3D microenvironment. Our microfluidic platform facilitates extended periods of culture, offering the ability to create bespoke drug testing regimens to a large number of spheroids simultaneously.
We can assess the efficacy of your compound in vitro mimicking clinical protocols, giving you confidence to progress to in vivo studies. Combinations of several agents have been a hallmark of chemotherapy. ScreenIn3D is able to provide multiple formats for testing combinations of two or more agents.
Radio-chemotherapy combination treatment is the current standard of care for a range of cancer types to reduce tumour size and metastasis. We can provide X-ray irradiation to multicellular tumour spheroids, either alone or in combination with commonly used adjuvant chemotherapy and your compound of interest.
The tumour microenvironment is a dynamic system. Either over short or long periods of culture, the multicellular spheroid can undergo genetic or phenotypic changes, as well as cell reorganization in space. The ability to retrieve the spheroids at the end of the assay enables their characterization, with the opportunity to highlight and interrogate specific spheroid response to treatment when using human heterogeneous tissue (e.g. using RT-PCR). Additionally, we can collect supernatant regularly during the assay to examine its composition (e.g. to identify cytokines or presence of metabolites using ELISA assay or mass-spectrometry).