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For far too long, cell culture experiments lacked dimensionality and not abstractly, but in the actual physical sense. Scientists were forced to grow their cells in only two dimensions, creating monolayers that are unrepresentative of true in vivo conditions. But in recent years, technological advances and solid scientific discoveries have allowed investigators to begin recapitulating more biologically relevant environments—thus vastly improving drug discovery endeavors.

Today, differentiated tissue and organ cell types can be generated in vitro from a variety of stem cells to mimic complex tissues while retaining genomic stability and response to drug treatments. Spheroids and organoids have a distinct advantage over traditional 2D cultures and hold unprecedented potential for various, innovative applications and novel therapies. However, in order to exploit these models for meaningful data, researchers often need to employ a variety of advanced disease modeling and drug screening protocols, as well as incorporate specific and reliable culture and analysis methods. Unfortunately, many characterization and optimization procedures of spheroid and organoid cultures are limited in their ability to reproducibly form and monitor these 3D structures as they develop over time.

Due to the complex nature of these 3D cultures, traditional analysis modalities—plate reader assays, for example—lack the necessary aspects of image-based analysis, including morphological information and the ability to confirm data within images. Moreover, conventional imaging systems are inherently difficult to adapt to the kinetic studies that are essential for in vitro culture models. So, how are investigators supposed to take advantage of these novel, robust 3D cell systems? Thankfully, for life science researchers, innovation never takes a break at Sartorius, where they have developed live-cell analysis products to simplify and empower and investigators research.

The Incucyte® Live-Cell Analysis System combines lab-tested protocols and reagents with powerful, automated image acquisition and analysis. Contained within this eBook are an array of articles highlighting the power of spheroid and organoid 3D cell models when employed to study a diverse range of disease states. At Sartorius, we know that these types of fundamental basic science research are foundational to successful drug discovery projects, and we know that Incucyte is uniquely equipped to streamline those projects when the scale-up time approaches.

 

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