3D cell culture methods confer a high degree of clinical and biological relevance to in vitro models. This is specifically the case with the spheroid culture, where a small aggregate of cells grows free of foreign materials. In spheroid cultures, cells secrete the extracellular matrix (ECM) in which they reside, and they can interact with cells from their original microenvironment. The value of spheroid cultures is increasing quickly due to novel microfabricated platforms amenable to high-throughput screening (HTS) and advances in cell culture. Here, we review new possibilities that combine the strengths of spheroid culture with new microenvironment fabrication methods that allow for the creation of large numbers of highly reproducible, complex tissues.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.