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Unified 2D and 3D cell-based high-throughput screening platform using a micropillar/microwell chip

January 11, 2016

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High-Throughput Screening (HTS) of Anticancer Drug Efficacy on a Micropillar/Microwell Chip Platform

January 7, 2014

Anal. Chem., 86(1) (Jan 7 2014) 535-542. 


Contemporary cancer therapy refers to treatment based on genetic abnormalities found in patient's tumor.

However, this approach is faced with numerous challenges, including tumor heterogeneity and molecular evolution, insufficient tumor samples available along with genetic information linking to clinical outcomes, lack of therapeutic drugs containing pharmacogenomic information, and technical limitations of rapid drug efficacy tests with insufficient quantities of primary cancer cells from patients.

To address these problems and improve clinical outcomes of current personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy, we have developed a micropillar/microwell chip platform, which is ideally suited for encapsulating primary cancer cells in nanoscale spots of hydrogels on the chip, generating efficacy data with various drugs, eventually allowing to compare the in vitro data obtained from the chip with clinical data as well as gene expression data. As a proof of concept in this study, we have encapsulated a U251 brain cancer cell line and three primary brain cancer cells from patients (448T, 464T, and 775T) in 30 nL droplets of alginate, and then tested the therapeutic efficacy of 24 anticancer drugs by measuring their dose responses.

As a result, the IC50 values of 24 anticancer drugs obtained from the brain cancer cells clearly showed patient cell-specific efficacy, some of which were well correlated with their oncogene over-expression (c-Met and FGFR1) as well as in vivo previous results of mouse xenograft model with the three primary brain cancer cells.


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