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Chemical analysis of multicellular tumour spheroids

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L.E. Jamieson, David James Harrison, C.J. Campbell

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Conventional two dimensional (2D) monolayer cell culture has been considered the ‘gold standard’ technique for in vitro cellular experiments. However, the need for a model that better mimics the three dimensional (3D) architecture of tissue in vivo has led to the development of Multicellular Tumour Spheroids (MTS) as a 3D tissue culture model. To some extent MTS mimic the environment of in vivo tumours where, for example, oxygen and nutrient gradients develop, protein expression changes and cells form a spherical structure with regions of proliferation, senescence and necrosis. This review focuses on the development of techniques for chemical analysis of MTS as a tool for understanding in vivo tumours and a platform for more effective drug and therapy discovery. While traditional monolayer techniques can be translated to 3D models, these often fail to provide the desired spatial resolution and z-penetration for live cell imaging. More recently developed techniques for overcoming these problems will be discussed with particular reference to advances in instrument technology for achieving the increased spatial resolution and imaging depth required.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3910-3920
Issue number12
Early online date23 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2015

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