IMR Press / FBE / Volume 5 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E594

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review

Microtechnology-based three-dimensional spheroid formation

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1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Hideyuki Arata

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2013, 5(1), 37–48; https://doi.org/10.2741/E594
Published: 1 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano- micro- technologies for molecular biology)
Abstract

This article highlights the current state of three-dimensional spheroid/tissue formation technologies offering a new experimental platform that is both as reproducible as conventional in vitro experiments and highly correlated to in vivo conditions. Three-dimensional tissue exhibit higher biological functions and reflect the in vivo context more precisely than classical two-dimensional cultures or monolayers. The applications cover highly efficient drug screening, regenerative medicine and fundamental biological research. Numerous three-dimensional spheroid and tissue formation devices have been developed over the past six decades. In early studies, mass production of spheroids using shaking, and non-adhesive surfaces and scaffolds in flasks was conducted. With the emergence of micro/nano fabrication technology and fundamental understanding of micro/nano fluidics, micro/nano devices capable of forming three-dimensional spheroids in a well- controlled manner have been extensively studied. The cell species composing spheroids include hepatic cells, cancer cells, primary cells and, more recently, stem cells. Formation of hetero-spheroids composed of different cells has also been attempted to further resemble the in vivo conditions. These new trends in spheroid research are particularly highlighted in this review.

Keywords
Spheroid
Tissue engineering
Micro total analysis systems
Microtechnology-based device
Lab-on-a- chip
Review
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