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Reutlingen, Germany

Weber P.,Aalen University of Applied Sciences | Schickinger S.,Aalen University of Applied Sciences | Wagner M.,Aalen University of Applied Sciences | Angres B.,Cellendes GmbH | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

Non-radiative cell membrane associated Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) from an enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP) to an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) is used for detection of apoptosis in 3-dimensional cell cultures. FRET is visualized in multi-cellular tumor spheroids by light sheet based fluorescence microscopy in combination with microspectral analysis and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM). Upon application of staurosporine and to some extent after treatment with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), a specific activator of protein kinase c, the caspase-3 sensitive peptide linker DEVD is cleaved. This results in a reduction of acceptor (EYFP) fluorescence as well as a prolongation of the fluorescence lifetime of the donor (ECFP). Fluorescence spectra and lifetimes may, therefore, be used for monitoring of apoptosis in a realistic 3-dimensional system, while light sheet based microscopy appears appropriate for 3D imaging at low light exposure. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Rimann M.,ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences | Angres B.,Cellendes GmbH | Patocchi-Tenzer I.,Tecan Schweiz AG | Braum S.,Tecan Schweiz AG | Graf-Hausner U.,ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Journal of Laboratory Automation | Year: 2014

Drug development relies on high-throughput screening involving cell-based assays. Most of the assays are still based on cells grown in monolayer rather than in three-dimensional (3D) formats, although cells behave more in vivo-like in 3D. To exemplify the adoption of 3D techniques in drug development, this project investigated the automation of a hydrogel-based 3D cell culture system using a liquid-handling robot. The hydrogel technology used offers high flexibility of gel design due to a modular composition of a polymer network and bioactive components. The cell inert degradation of the gel at the end of the culture period guaranteed the harmless isolation of live cells for further downstream processing. Human colon carcinoma cells HCT-116 were encapsulated and grown in these dextran-based hydrogels, thereby forming 3D multicellular spheroids. Viability and DNA content of the cells were shown to be similar in automated and manually produced hydrogels. Furthermore, cell treatment with toxic Taxol concentrations (100 nM) had the same effect on HCT-116 cell viability in manually and automated hydrogel preparations. Finally, a fully automated dose-response curve with the reference compound Taxol showed the potential of this hydrogel-based 3D cell culture system in advanced drug development. © 2013 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.


A peptide cross-linking agent in the form of a linear molecule has a molecular mass of 3 to approximately 60 kDa. The peptide cross-linking agents are used for cross-linking functionalized polymers to form hydrogels having two or more components.


Charwat V.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Schutze K.,CellTool GmbH | Holnthoner W.,Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology | Lavrentieva A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Today highly complex 3D cell culture formats that closely mimic the in vivo situation are increasingly available. Despite their wide use, the development of analytical methods and tools that can work within the depth of 3D-tissue constructs lags behind. In order to get the most information from a 3D cell sample, adequate and reliable assays are required. However, the majority of tools and methods used today have been originally designed for 2D cell cultures and translation to a 3D environment is in general not trivial. Ideally, an analytical method should be non-invasive and allow for repeated observation of living cells in order to detect dynamic changes in individual cells within the 3D cell culture. Although well-established laser confocal microscopy can be used for these purposes, this technique has serious limitations including penetration depth and availability. Focusing on two relevant analytical methods for live-cell monitoring, we discuss the current challenges of analyzing living 3D samples: microscopy, which is the most widely used technology to observe and examine cell cultures, has been successfully adapted for 3D samples by recording of so-called "z-stacks". However the required equipment is generally very expensive and therefore access is often limited. Consequently alternative and less advanced approaches are often applied that cannot capture the full structural complexity of a 3D sample. Similarly, image analysis tools for quantification of microscopic images range from highly specialized and costly to simplified and inexpensive. Depending on the actual sample composition and scientific question the best approach needs to be assessed individually. Another more recently introduced technology for non-invasive cell analysis is Raman micro-spectroscopy. It enables label-free identification of cellular metabolic changes with high sensitivity and has already been successful applied to 2D and 3D cell cultures. However, its future significance for cell analysis will strongly depend on the availability of application oriented and user-friendly systems including specific tools for easy analysis and interpretation of spectral data focusing on biological relevant information. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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