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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Cell biology,, Biochemistry and molecular biology, Oncology


3D cell culture is a process used to grow cells in vitro to mimic an in vivo environment. 3D cell models are very useful for understanding disease mechanisms and exploring drug therapeutics. 3D cultures can be grown from cells taken from cancer organoids in patients. Once grown, they can be used to screen for small molecule drugs or they can be genetically modified in order to analyse disease pathways or predict the toxicity or efficacy of a drug treatment. These cultures decrease the need to use animals in research and provides more reliable results as it uses human physiology. This protocol describes the in vitro generation of spheroids using the low attachment plate method. This method uses low-adhesion plates that are coated with hydrophilic polymer to allow cells to cluster together, forming their own extracellular matrix, rather than sticking to the plate surface. The scaffold-free 3D cell culture models produced can more accurately reflect an in vivo microenvironment making them useful in the study of oncology, hepatotoxicity, neurology, nephrology and stem cell biology.



Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)