Drug screening is an expensive process that requires many different steps to achieve success. Full commercialization often fails for many drug candidates, with 90% failing in clinical development and 80% stalling at pre-clinical development, failing to reach Phase I trials. However, emerging tissue model technology shows promise as a solution.
3D cell culture in the form of spheroids, organoids, and organ-on-a-chip (OoC) technology can offer physiologically relevant and human equivalent substitutes to animal and 2D in-vitro testing. With the ability to scale up and maintain consistency, tissue models may be the future for drug discovery and drug screening.
Why Use 3D Cell Culture for Drug Discovery and Screening?
Creating relevant human physiological tissue models through 3D cell culture is the future for cell-based assays. For example, cytotoxicity studies are faster and provide more comprehensive data since the 3D tissue models reflect what is going on at the organ level in terms of disease and response to drugs. 3D cell culture tissue models can also drive research in personalized medicine, helping to identify individuals' responses to drugs.
Instead of in-vitro cultures composed entirely of a single cell type, stem cell culture, and 3D bioprinting create tissue models that mimic cellular orientation and organ anatomy. Using support matrices such as Corning® Matrigel® matrix can help to scaffold and orient the different cell types in a culture.
Frontiers in Medical Technology notes that being able to accurately recreate tissues in 3D helps with biological relevance to living tissue. Combining these in hybrid forms with microfluidics as an OoC lets researchers examine responses to drugs in individual organs, or even as connected multiple organ models.