Three-dimensional (3D) spheroids/organoids provide a platform for best mimicking the function and structure of tissues and organs in vitro. The primary goal of our current research is to study the impact of the mechanical properties of matrix and microenvironments conditions on cells, and build more promising tumor models for cancer research. The recent advances in in vitro culture technologies, such as microfluidic droplet method and lab-on-a-chip method, have opened new avenues for the development of novel, more physiological human cancer models. Ultimately, success in this research area should decrease the use of animals in the preclinical and clinical investigations.
Microcapsules are the bioreactors with the liquid core and the gelated shell. Their structure can be easily tuned, regarding the core (such as chemicals in microenvironment, viscosity, and cell concentration), and the shell composition (such as thickness, porosity, material). By tuning these physical and chemical conditions, we can design and engineer spheroids/organoids proliferation and growth for specific applications.
Micro Hydrogel Beads
Gel beads, as an alternative to microcapsules, can also be used to culture spheroids and organoids. High throughput feature of the microfluidic droplet generation system enables sufficient generation of the uniform beads and rods. The distinctive characteristic properties, such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, viscoelasticity, and softness of these micro hydrogels can be tuned on demand, to match the requirements of the tissues.