Toxicity Screening

High-throughput toxicity screening in 3D

Our screening service includes:

  • High-throughput compound screening for toxicity
  • Real-time contraction data
  • High-content experimentation


Spheroids of 3T3 murine embryonic fibroblasts exposed to retinoic acid

n3D can screen for compound toxicity using the BiO Assay, our high-throughput 3D assay. We print cells into spheroids that immediately contract in a dose-dependent manner. Spheroid contraction is related to spheroid viability and proliferation, and we can track this visually. This assay measures compound toxicity in a representative 3D environment that is repeatable, high-throughput, and high-content.

3T3 RA
Results of BiO Assay on 3T3 spheroids. (A) Images of spheroids before and 5 h after adding retinoic acid (RA). (B) Time-dependent contraction. (C) Dose-dependent response. (D) Viability of spheroids after contraction (green = live, red = dead). Note with higher, more toxic concentrations of RA, the spheroids are unable to contract, and that correlates with viability in the spheroid.

Check out our poster from SOT 2014

1. What cell types can I screen with this assay?
Our system is universally applicable to all cell types (see table for all cell types we’ve assayed). We can screen virtually any cell type, just let us know which type, and what media and environment you use to culture your cells.

2. How many compounds can I test?
We can screen compounds in multiples of 4, each with 8 concentrations and in triplicate.

3. What is the general protocol?

  1. Cells will be incubated with NanoShuttleTM-PL overnight
  2. Cells will be printed into spheroids the next day for 15 min – 1 h
  3. Spheroids will contract for 24 h and imaged at regular intervals
  4. Images batch analyzed to yield contraction data
  5. Post-assay experimentation on spheroids to investigate mechanisms of toxicity

4. High-content screening is possible with post-assay experiments. What can you perform?
We can do a number of post-assay experiments, including but not limited to:

  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Biochemical assays (MTT, Live/Dead, ELISA)

5. What will I receive?

  • Detailed, concise report of results presented in meaningful way
  • Online presentation and meeting to discuss results
  • Raw data, images, and movie of spheroid contraction

Questions? Interested? Contact us for more information and to receive a quote!