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Title: Optical coherence tomography detects necrotic regions and volumetrically quantifies multicellular tumor spheroids
Three-dimensional (3D) tumor spheroid models have gained increased recognition as important tools in cancer research and anti-cancer drug development. However, currently available imaging approaches employed in high-throughput screening drug discovery platforms e.g. bright field, phase contrast, and fluorescence microscopies, are unable to resolve 3D structures deep inside (>50 μm) tumor spheroids. In this study, we established a label-free, non-invasive optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging platform to characterize 3D morphological and physiological information of multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) growing from ~250 μm up to ~600 μm in height over 21 days. In particular, tumor spheroids of two cell lines glioblastoma (U-87 MG) and colorectal carcinoma (HCT 116) exhibited distinctive evolutions in their geometric shapes at late growth stages. Volumes of MCTS were accurately quantified using a voxel-based approach without presumptions of their geometries. In contrast, conventional diameter-based volume calculations assuming perfect spherical shape resulted in large quantification errors. Furthermore, we successfully detected necrotic regions within these tumor spheroids based on increased intrinsic optical attenuation, suggesting a promising alternative of label-free viability tests in tumor spheroids. Therefore, OCT can serve as a promising imaging modality to characterize morphological and physiological features of MCTS, showing great potential for high-throughput drug screening.
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Award ID(s):
1640707 1455613
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Cancer research
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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