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3D cell culture

Creating high throughput 3D in vitro cell culture models


High Throughput 3D Cell Culture

3D cell cultures, such as organoids and spheroids, have distinct advantages over 2D cultures for diverse cell and tissue types as they more closely mimic the natural environments of the cell.

The first step in many 3D cell culture protocols is to seed single or multiple cells into a hydrogel matrix or scaffold.

Hydrogel spheres for 3D cell culture on the Nadia platform

Using microfluidics to make these 3D cell culture spheres confers extremely high throughput. The Nadia platform can encapsulate 600,000 single cells in individual hydrogel spheres in a single 20-minute run, rendering this process suitable for both research and industrial applications.

By altering encapsulation parameters of pressure and temperature, a variety of high viscosity temperature sensitive liquid hydrogels can be flowed into droplets, from agarose to collagen gels.


Few other methodologies can quickly and reproducibly generate hundreds of thousands of single cell 3D scaffolds from diverse biocompatible polymers, all whilst maintaining single cell identity. The tremendous versatility of the Nadia and Innovate platform also allows this technique to be applied to cells of diverse sizes and morphologies. Samples that have been successfully tested range from organelles such as nuclei to multinucleated or large cells like cardiomyocytes, which can be over 100 µm in length.

Once droplets are produced, they are separated from the oil phase to produce hydrogel spheres. These hydrogel scaffolds, which cells can cling to, can then be perfused with a variety of culture media for long term single cell growth studies, allowing single colony screening techniques such as ISO-Seq (Liu et al., 2019).

Here are some useful links if you want to find out more about how the Nadia Innovate can be used to generate hydrogel droplets for single cell research:



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