In the realm of 3D cell culture, the diversity of terminology – from organoids and tumoroids to spheroids and Microphysiological Systems (MPS) – reflects innovation but also creates barriers to communication and adoption.
Decoding the Lexicon
The terminology varies: ‘organoids’ often denote miniaturized organs, ‘tumoroids’ for tumor cell cultures, while ‘spheroids’ generally refer to spherical aggregations of cells. Complex In-Vitro Models (CIVM) and Microphysiological Systems (MPS) often hint at more intricate cell culture setups. This diversity, while indicative of the field’s depth, can lead to confusion and communication barriers.
Effective communication is the bedrock of collaborative innovation. The varied terms, while nuanced, can impede understanding and joint efforts across the industry. Standardizing this language, or at least clarifying it, could streamline collaboration, sharing of insights, and accelerate advancements.
It’s also indicative of a siloed approach to R&D in the sector when a collaborative and transparent approach is necessary for mass adoption.
Lucero’s Approach: Focusing on Spheroids
At Lucero AB, we work with ‘spheroids’, particularly ultra-miniaturized liver models.
Their spherical shape is pertinent to liver function and offers a realistic representation of cell-cell interactions (key for primary liver function).
We’re pushing boundaries in size, working with spheroids smaller than 100 microns, optimizing cell cost and data point efficiency while retaining crucial cell-cell interactions.
The Bigger Picture
While our focus is on early-stage drug discovery, particularly in chemistry optimization, we recognize that the industry’s needs are diverse. Different types of models of varying complexities will be required (and these models may need different names).
As research progresses toward clinical trials, the demand shifts towards more complex, disease-specific models.
Our ultra-miniaturized spheroids may not fit all stages, but they will serve a critical role in the early phases of pharmaceutical development.
In conclusion, standardization in 3D cell culture terminology is more than a linguistic exercise; it’s a step toward more cohesive and effective collaboration.
Join the conversation 👇
How do you think standardization can shape the future of 3D cell culture?
Subscribe to our newsletter to share your thoughts!