Category: Assay Development and Screening
In the last few years there has been a substantial increase in the use of three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models in the drug discovery process since these models more accurately mimic the in vivo environment compared to traditional monolayer cultures. However, the rapid adoption of 3D cell culture models for screening purposes has been slowed by the lack of robust and easy-to-use culturing platforms and the difficulties associated with imaging and characterization of 3D cell culture models (e.g. spheroids, microtissues). Through this work, we evaluated the use of Corning® spheroid microplates for in situ formation of microtissues while culturing. Furthermore, the use of the tissue clearing technique Visikol® HISTO-M™ coupled with high content confocal imaging enabled rapid, automated analysis of spheroids in whole-mount format. HepG2 hepatocyte spheroids of 300 µm in diameter were rapidly and reproducibly generated; cell viability was determined by employing live/dead molecular probes to construct dose-response curves of antiproliferative compounds cisplatin and paclitaxel. It was shown that the application of a tissue clearing technique to 3D cell culture characterization resulted in a 3-fold increase in cells detected, and further allowed for the analysis of dose response as a function of location within the spheroid to detect differentiated effects in the inner and outermost cells.
Michael Johnson– CEO and Co-Founder, Visikol, New Brunswick, NJ
CEO and Co-Founder
New Brunswick, NJ
Michael Johnson is a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and the CEO and Co-Founder of Visikol Inc., which is a bio-imaging company that spun out of Rutgers University in 2016 and that Michael founded along with his fellow PhD candidate Thomas Villani and colleague Nick Crider. Michael has a diverse background with experiences in both the technical and business considerations of running a biotech business. Following his undergraduate degree in biology at Muhlenberg College, Michael spent three years in various roles at Johnson & Johnson while concurrently pursuing a PhD in applied microbiology at Rutgers University. Michael’s research background has focused on a wide-range of projects from remote sensing research with NASA to building light sheet microscopes and producing biofuels. Prior to launching Visikol, Michael has worked on several other biotech-based entrepreneurial pursuits and is very passionate about translating cutting edge research into life-changing commercial technologies.