Advanced cell culture platforms: methods for drug testing with microfluidics and microstructured devices

Tartagni, Ottavia (2022) Advanced cell culture platforms: methods for drug testing with microfluidics and microstructured devices, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10234.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) .
Download (5MB)


Advanced cell cultures are developing rapidly in biomedical research. Nowadays, various approaches and technologies are being used, however, these culturing systems present limitations from increasing complexity, requiring high costs, and not easily customization. We present two versatile and cost-effective methods for developing culturing systems that integrate 3D cell culture and microfluidic platforms. Firstly, for drug screening applications, many high-quality cell spheres of homogeneous size and shape are required. Conventional approaches usually have a dearth of control over the size and geometry of cell spheres and require sample collection and manipulation. To overcome this difficulty, in this study, hundreds of spheroids of several cell lines were generated using multi-well plates that housed our microdevices. Tumor spheroids grow at a uniform rate (in scaffolded or scaffold-free environments) and can be harvested at will. Microscopy imaging are done in real time during or after the culture. After in situ immunostaining, fluorescence imaging can be conducted while keeping the spatial distribution of spheroids in the microwells. Drug effects were successfully observed through viability, growth, and morphologic investigations. Also, we fabricated a microfluidic device suitable for directed and selective cell culture treatments. The microfluidic device was used to reproduce and confirm in vitro investigations carried out using normal culture methods, using a microglia cell line. The device layout and the syringe pump system, entirely designed in our lab, successfully allowed culture growth and medium flow regulation. Solution flows can be finely controlled, allowing treatments and immunofluorescence in one single chamber selectively. To conclude, we propose the development of two culturing platforms (microstructured well devices and in-flow microfluidic chip), which are the result of separate scientific investigations but have the primary goal of performing treatments in a reproducible manner. Our devices shall improve future studies on drug exposure testing, representing adjustable and versatile cell culture systems.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Tartagni, Ottavia
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Concave microwells, Cell culture inserts, Microtissues, Spheroid, Multicellular tumor spheroid, 3D cell culture, Drug screening, Microfluidics, Microglia, Microfabrication
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2022

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi