3D Spheroid Culture Technology Trends 2016
Published By : HTStec Ltd Published Date : 2016-11-09 Category : Medical Devices Sub Category : Biotechnology Equipment No. of Pages : 58

This market report summarizes the results of HTStec's industry-wide global web-based benchmarking survey on three dimensional (3D) spheroid culture technology trends carried out in October 2016.

The survey was initiated by HTStec as part of our ongoing tracking of this rapidly emerging life science marketplace, and to update and extend HTStec's previous report entitled 3D Spheroid Culture Trends (published June 2015).

The questionnaire was compiled to meet the needs of vendors interested in 3D spheroid culture trends.

The objectives were to understand respondent's current interest in, experience of and progress made in applying 3D spheroid culture/generation technologies.

The survey looked at the following aspects of 3D spheroid culture/generation technologies as practiced today (2016) and in a few cases as predicted for the future (2018):

  • main application area of interest/activity involving spheroids;
  • level of implementation of spheroids into research activities;
  • awareness or direct use of approaches currently available to generate/culture spheroids;
  • awareness or direct use of commercial technologies/products promoted for 3D spheroid culture/generation/assay;
  • preferred type of spheroid culture format;
  • type of spheroid culture most are interested in investigating;
  • cell types used to generate spheroids;
  • how many different cell types are represented in spheroids;
  • number of spheroids generated/used per year;
  • number of different primary screens performed using spheroids and number of wells to be tested per screen;
  • expectations for primary screening using 3D spheroid culture systems versus conventional 2D tissue culture;
  • assays types applied to isolated spheroids;
  • maximum pricepoints for cell culture microplates that enable spheroid generation;
  • annual budget for spheroid culture/generation consumables and its breakdown into component parts;
  • vendor/supplier that first comes to mind as the leading player in area of spheroid generation/culture;
  • vendors/suppliers from which the majority of the spheroid culture consumable products are purchased;
  • level of interest in purchasing assay ready products or 3D spheroid-related services;
  • aspects of currently available approaches to spheroid culture/generation which need to be improved;
  • specific requirements to transfer spheroids out of their original culture vessel;
  • types of detection instruments mainly used to monitor/assess spheroid cultures;
  • what respondent's most want to achieve from monitoring/assessing spheroid cultures;
  • awareness or direct use of commercial instruments currently being specifically promoted for spheroid imaging;
  • whether any of respondent's research necessitates 3D imaging/3D reconstruction of imaged spheroids;
  • is 3D imaging/3D reconstruction needed when undertaking primary screening (HTS) against cultured spheroids;
  • main criteria for choosing to focus research on spheroids versus other approaches to 3D cell culture;
  • level of success achieved with spheroid culture;
  • time frame over which spheroid cultures are expected to become the 'established' 3D culture platform of choice for drug research;
  • main priority when selecting a particular 3D model or spheroid technology, assay or application;
  • most important resources when seeking technical support on a new 3D spheroid culture technology;
  • and any gaps/limitations in existing spheroid culture-related products.

The main questionnaire consisted of 31 mainly multi-choice questions. In addition, there were 7 questions related solely to survey administration and demographics.

The survey collected 74 validated responses, of these 73% provided comprehensive input.

Survey responses were geographically split: 53% Europe; 27% North America; 15% Asia (excluding Japan & China); 4% ROW; and 1% Japan.

Respondents represented 43 University/Research Institute/Not-for-Profit; 10 Biotech; 5 Pharmaceutical; 5 Hospital/Clinic/Medical School; 4 Government/ Military Defense; 4 Contract Research Organisation; 2 Regen Med/Cell Therapy/Tissue Engineering Company; and 1 Cosmetics.

Most survey respondents had a senior job role or position which was in descending order: 12 research scientists; 10 senior scientists/researchers; 10 principal investigators; 8 section/group leaders; 8 directors; 7 post-docs; 6 lab managers; 6 professor/assistant professors; 3 graduates/PhD students; 2 department heads; 1 vice president; and 1 other.

Survey results were expressed as an average of all survey respondents. In addition, where appropriate the data was reanalyzed after sub-division into the following 5 survey groups: 1) Pharma & Biotech; 2) University Research; 3) Other Organisations; 4) Culturing 3D Spheroids Today; and 5) Not Yet Culturing 3D Spheroids.

The majority of respondents were currently culturing 3D spheroids today (2016).

The main area of interest involving 3D spheroids was development of improved assays/cell culture models.

The median level of implementation of 3D spheroids into research today was moderate (10-50% effort).

The approach/technology respondents had greatest awareness of today (i.e. most used and most heard of) to generate/culture 3D spheroids was ultra-low attachment (ULA) plates.

The commercial technology/product for 3D cell culture/generation/assay respondents had greatest awareness of today was Corning® Costar® ULA hydrophilic hydrogel coated plates.

The most preferred kind of 3D spheroid culture format involves: round (U)-bottomed microplates; a single spheroid per well or drop; 100-200um sized (diameter) spheroids; and 96-well plates.

Respondents were most interested in investigating both proliferative and quiescent spheroid cultures.

The cell types most used to generate 3D spheroids today were tumor cell lines and primary cells, with a median of 2 cell types used per spheroid.

Respondents reported the following median usage of 3D spheroids today: 1K-5K spheroids generated/ used/year; 1 spheroid primary screens/year; and <1K spheroid containing wells/screen.

Respondent's main expectation from primary screening using 3D spheroids versus conventional 2D tissue culture was more predictive screening results.

The assay type most applied to isolated spheroids was cell viability (e.g. luciferase or ATP assay).

The maximum pricepoints for microplates with a single spheroid per well or hanging drop were $15 for a 96-well plate and $20 for a 384-well plate.

The median annual budget for 3D spheroid culture/generation consumables was $2.5K-$5K in 2016, with the biggest part of this budget allocated to conventional 2D culture media and ULA or cell-repellent plates.

A bottom up model was developed to estimate the market for 3D spheroid culture/generation consumables using data derived from this survey (i.e. mean level of implementation of spheroids into research activities; % with spheroid consumable budget plans; and mean spheroid generation consumable budget/lab). This model estimated the global market to be around $33M today (2016).

The vendor/supplier that first comes to the mind of most respondents as the leading player in spheroid generation/culture was Corning.

The main sources/vendors of the majority of spheroid culture consumables products purchased were Corning, Thermo Fisher Scientific, 3D Biomatrix, InSphero and Sigma Aldrich.

Custom 3D spheroid model development was rated the assay ready product or 3D-spheroid related service respondents were most interested in purchasing.

Cryopreservation of spheroids was rated the most inadequate aspect of spheroid culture/generation today.

The microscope (phase, fluorescence or confocal) was the detection instrument most used to assess/ monitor spheroid cultures.

A minority have a specific requirement to transfer spheroids out of their original culture vessel and gave feedback on how they are doing this transfer today and any issues arising from manipulation.

Cell viability (live/dead) assessment was what respondents most wanted to achieve from monitoring/assessing spheroid cultures.

The commercial instruments currently being specifically promoted for spheroid imaging that respondents had greatest awareness of today were the Zeiss Lightsheet Microscope Z.1 and BioTek Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader.

Around half of respondent's research necessitates 3D imaging/3D reconstruction of imaged spheroids. Feedback on why some research necessitates 3D imaging/3D reconstruction was documented.

The majority do not think 3D imaging/3D reconstruction of imaged spheroids is needed when screening. Feedback on why some respondent's need 3D imaging/3D reconstruction in screening was documented.

Respondent's priority when selecting a particular 3D model or spheroid technology for an assay or application is directed towards a better model than used at present based on disease relevant complexity.

A growing library of supporting/validating publications was ranked the most important criteria for choosing to focus research on 3D spheroids versus other approaches to 3D culture.

Most reported that they had achieved moderate success (some improvement) in 3D spheroid culture.

3-5 years was the estimated median time frame for 3D spheroid cultures to become the 'established' 3D culture platform of choice for drug research.

Scientific publications were rated the most important resource when researching/gathering information/seeking technical support on a new 3D culture technology.

Some feedback on the gaps that exist in current spheroid market offerings were documented.

The full report provides the data, details of the breakdown of the responses to each question, its segmentation & estimates for the future (2018). It also highlights some differences between survey groups.

PLEASE NOTE: In this report 3D spheroids (also sometimes referred to as microtissues, embyroid bodies, organoids or tumorspheres) are defined as spherical aggregates of proliferating, quiescent, and necrotic cells in culture that retain 3D architecture and tissue-specific functions.

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Table Of Contents
  3. Survey Methodology
  4. Respondent's Organisation & Response To Survey
  5. Respondent's Geographic Origin
  6. Respondent's Company Or Organisational Origin
  7. Respondent's Job Role
  8. Currently Culturing Or Planning To Culture 3D Spheroids
  9. Main Application Area Of Interest/Activity Involving 3D Spheroids
  10. Level Of Implementation Of Spheroids Into Research Activities
  11. Awareness Of Approaches Available To Generate/Culture 3D Spheroids
  12. Awareness Of Commercial Technologies/Products Promoted For 3D Spheroid
  13. Culture/Generation/Assay
  14. Kind Of Spheroid Culture Format Respondents Most Want To Achieve (1)
  15. Kind Of Spheroid Culture Format Respondents Most Want To Achieve (2)
  16. Summary Of Survey Findings (1)
  17. Type Of 3D Spheroid Culture Respondents Are Most Interested In Investigating
  18. Cell Types Used To Generate 3D Spheroid Cultures Today
  19. Cell Types Used To Generate 3D Spheroid Cultures In Future
  20. Number Of Different Cell Types Per Spheroid Generated
  21. Number Of Spheroids Generated/Used Per Year
  22. Number Of Spheroid Primary Screens Per Year
  23. Number Of Spheroid Containing Wells Per Primary Screen
  24. Expectations For Primary Screening Using 3D Spheroids Vs. Conventional 2D Tissue Culture
  25. Assay Types Have Applied Or Plan To Apply To Isolated Spheroids (1)
  26. Assay Types Have Applied Or Plan To Apply To Isolated Spheroids (2)
  27. Maximum Pricepoints For Cell Culture Microplates For Spheroid Generation
  28. Annual Budgets For Spheroid Culture/Generation Consumables
  29. Breakdown Of 2016 Budget For Spheroid Culture/Generation Consumables
  30. Market Estimate For Spheroid Generation Consumables
  31. Breakdown Of Spheroid Generation Consumables Market Estimate
  32. Spheroid Culture Vendor That First Comes To Mind
  33. Main Sources Of Spheroid Culture Products Purchased (1)
  34. Main Sources Of Spheroid Culture Products Purchased (2)
  35. Level Of Interest In Purchasing Assay Ready Products Or 3D Spheroid-Related Services (1)
  36. Level Of Interest In Purchasing Assay Ready Products Or 3D Spheroid-Related Services (1)
  37. Summary of Survey Findings (2)
  38. Aspects Spheroid Culture/Generation Technology In Need Of Improvement (1)
  39. Aspects Spheroid Culture/Generation Technology In Need Of Improvement (2)
  40. Requirement To Transfer Spheroids Out Of Their Original Culture Vessel
  41. Detection Instruments Frequently Used To Assess/Monitor Spheroid Cultures
  42. What Respondents Want To Achieve By Monitoring Spheroid Cultures
  43. Awareness Of Instruments Being Promoted For Spheroid Imaging
  44. Does Research Necessitate 3D Imaging/3D Reconstruction Of Imaged Spheroids
  45. Is 3D Imaging/3D Reconstruction Needed When Undertaking HTS Against Spheroids
  46. Most Important Criteria For Choosing To Focus In 3D Spheroids
  47. Level Of Success Achieved In 3D Spheroid Culture
  48. Time Frame For 3D Spheroids To Become The Established 3D Culture Platform For Drug Research
  49. Priority When Selecting A Particular 3D Model Or Spheroid Technology For An Assay Or Application
  50. Most Important Resource When Seeking Technical Support An A New Spheroid Technology
  51. Gaps In Existing Current Spheroid Market Offerings
  52. Summary Of Survey Findings (3)