High content imaging (HCI) is a multiplexed cell staining assay developed for better understanding of complex biological functions and mechanisms of drug action, and it has become an important tool for toxicity and efficacy screening of drug candidates. Conventional HCI assays have been carried out on two-dimensional (2D) cell monolayer cultures, which in turn limit predictability of drug toxicity/efficacy in vivo
; thus, there has been an urgent need to perform HCI assays on three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures. Although 3D cell cultures better mimic in vivo
microenvironments of human tissues and provide an in-depth understanding of the morphological and functional features of tissues, they are also limited by having relatively low throughput and thus are not amenable to high-throughput screening (HTS). One attempt of making 3D cell culture amenable for HTS is to utilize miniaturized cell culture platforms. This review aims to highlight miniaturized 3D cell culture platforms compatible with current HCI technology.
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