Development of human liver cancer 3D spheroid cultures for assessment of nanoplastic toxicity

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


3D spheroid cell cultures are an appropriate alternative to conventional 2D monolayer cell systems because of a higher in vivo similarity. However, their use is currently underrepresented in hazard identification, in casu in the field of particle toxicity. In the present study, we focus on the development of 3D spheroid cultures of 7 human liver cancer cell lines and test their interaction with micro- and nanoplastics. Data regarding spheroid growth and viability indicated that 3 out of the 7 cell lines, namely C3A, SK-HEP-1 and Hep3B cells, formed maintainable 3D spheroids over time in non-scaffold culture conditions. A superior sensitivity towards the hepatotoxic compounds menadione and carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone was demonstrated for the spheroid-forming cell lines compared to their 2D counterparts. Fluorescent polystyrene particles with a diameter of 0.5 µm interacted with the 3D spheroid cultures in a dose-, time- and cell type-dependent manner. However, larger particles with a diameter of 5 µm were incompatible with the scaffold-free set-up because of excessive particle precipitation, thereby preventing particle-spheroid interaction. The successful development of maintainable spheroid cultures and their potential to interact with nanosized particles advocates their use in the area of particle toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2023
EventJoint 3R Symposium - Emerging fields in 3Rs - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 19 Sep 202321 Sep 2023


ConferenceJoint 3R Symposium - Emerging fields in 3Rs


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