Simple Droplet Microfluidics Platform for Drug Screening on Cancer Spheroids

Parent, C.; Melayil, K. R.; Zhou, Y.; Aubert, V.; Surdez, D.; Delattre, O.; Wilhelm, C.; Viovy, J.-L.
Lab Chip 5139–5150 (2023)

3D in vitro biological systems are progressively replacing 2D systems to increase the physiological relevance of cellular studies

Microfluidics-based approaches can be powerful tools towards such biomimetic systems, but often require high-end complicated and expensive processes and equipment for microfabrication. Herein, a drug screening platform is proposed, minimizing technicality and manufacturing steps. It provides an alternate way of spheroid generation in droplets in tubes. Droplet microfluidics then elicit multiple droplets merging events at programmable times, to submit sequentially the spheroids to chemotherapy and to reagents for cytotoxicity screening. After a comprehensive study of tumorogenesis within the droplets, the system is validated for drug screening (IC50) with chemotherapies in cancer cell lines as well as cells from a patient-derived-xenografts (PDX). As compared to microtiter plates methods, our system reduces the initial number of cells up to 10 times and opens new avenues towards primary tumors drug screening approaches.

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