Rapid tissue prototyping with micro-organospheres

Stem Cell Reports. 2022 Sep 13;17(9):1959-1975. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.07.016. Epub 2022 Aug 18.


In vitro tissue models hold great promise for modeling diseases and drug responses. Here, we used emulsion microfluidics to form micro-organospheres (MOSs), which are droplet-encapsulated miniature three-dimensional (3D) tissue models that can be established rapidly from patient tissues or cells. MOSs retain key biological features and responses to chemo-, targeted, and radiation therapies compared with organoids. The small size and large surface-to-volume ratio of MOSs enable various applications including quantitative assessment of nutrient dependence, pathogen-host interaction for anti-viral drug screening, and a rapid potency assay for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy. An automated MOS imaging pipeline combined with machine learning overcomes plating variation, distinguishes tumorspheres from stroma, differentiates cytostatic versus cytotoxic drug effects, and captures resistant clones and heterogeneity in drug response. This pipeline is capable of robust assessments of drug response at individual-tumorsphere resolution and provides a rapid and high-throughput therapeutic profiling platform for precision medicine.

Keywords: CAR-T; SARS-COV-2; cytostatic; cytotoxic; deep learning; demulsification; drug resistant; micro-organospheres; organoid; patient derived organoid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Humans
  • Microfluidics
  • Organoids*
  • Precision Medicine


  • Antineoplastic Agents