Effect of microwell chip structure on cell microsphere production of various animal cells

Yusuke Sakai, Shirou Yoshida, Yukiko Yoshiura, Rhuhei Mori, Tomoko Tamura, Kanji Yahiro, Hideki Mori, Yonehiro Kanemura, Mami Yamasaki, Kohji Nakazawa

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of three-dimensional cell microspheres such as spheroids, embryoid bodies, and neurospheres has attracted attention as a useful culture technique. In this study, we investigated a technique for effective cell microsphere production by using specially prepared microchip. The basic chip design was a multimicrowell structure in triangular arrangement within a 100-mm(2) region in the center of a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) plate (24 x 24 mm(2)), the surface of which was modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to render it nonadhesive to cells. We also designed six similar chips with microwell diameters of 200, 300, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 mu m to investigate the effect of the microwell diameter on the cell microsphere diameter. Rat hepatocytes, HepG2 cells, mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, and mouse neural progenitor/stem (NPS) cells formed hepatocyte spheroids, HepG2 spheroids, embryoid bodies, and neurospheres, respectively, in the microwells within 5 days of culture. For all the cells, a single microsphere was formed in each microwell under all the chip conditions, and such microsphere configurations remained throughout the culture period. Furthermore, the microsphere diameters of each type of cell were strongly positively correlated with the microwell diameters of the chips, suggesting that microsphere diameter can be factitiously controlled by using different chip conditions. Thus, this chip technique is a promising cellular platform for tissue engineering or regenerative medicine research, pharmacological and toxicological studies, and fundamental studies in cell biology. (C) 2010, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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