Available only for arXiv papers.
Patient-derived organoid (PDO) models of cancer are a multifunctional research system that better recapitulates human disease as compared to cancer cell lines. PDO models can be generated by culturing patient tumor cells in extracellular basement membrane extracts (BME) and plating as three-dimensional domes. However, commercially available reagents that have been optimized for phenotypic assays in monolayer cultures often are not compatible with BME. Herein we describe a method to plate PDO models and assess drug effects using an automated live-cell imaging system. In addition, we apply fluorescent dyes that are compatible with kinetic measurements to simultaneously quantitate cell health and apoptosis. Image capture can be customized to occur at regular time intervals over several days. Users can analyze drug effects in individual Z-plane images or a Z Projection of serial images from multiple focal planes. Using masking, specific parameters of interest are calculated, such as PDO number, area, and fluorescence intensity. We provide proof-of-concept data demonstrating the effect of cytotoxic agents on cell health, apoptosis and viability. This automated kinetic imaging platform can be expanded to other phenotypic readouts to understand diverse therapeutic effects in PDO models of cancer.