Integrated, automated maintenance, expansion and differentiation of 2D and 3D patient-derived cellular models for high throughput drug screening


Patient-derived cellular models become an increasingly powerful tool to model human diseases for precision medicine approaches. The identification of robust cellular disease phenotypes in these models paved the way towards high throughput screenings (HTS) including the implementation of laboratory advanced automation. However, maintenance and expansion of cells for HTS remains largely manual work. Here, we describe an integrated, complex automated platform for HTS in a translational research setting also designed for maintenance and expansion of different cell types. The comprehensive design allows automation of all cultivation steps and is flexible for development of methods for variable cell types. We demonstrate protocols for controlled cell seeding, splitting and expansion of human fibroblasts, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and neural progenitor cells (NPC) that allow for subsequent differentiation into different cell types and image-based multiparametric screening. Furthermore, we provide automated protocols for neuronal differentiation of NPC in 2D culture and 3D midbrain organoids for HTS. The flexibility of this multitask platform makes it an ideal solution for translational research settings involving experiments on different patient-derived cellular models for precision medicine.

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