Magnetic 3D Cell Culture is a new and novel process for growing spheroids while keeping the same 2D workflow. Through the use of magnetized cells, cell-repellent microplates and magnetic drives, researchers can now grow spheroids faster than ever before without changing the steps they have taken in the past. On this page, the process for growing spheroids will be outlined. 


Products Needed for this Application:


The CELLSTAR® Cell Repellent Surface


The CELLSTAR® cell-repellent surface effectively prevents cell adhesion. Achieved through an innovative chemical polymer modification, Greiner Bio-One’s cell-repellent surface does not degrade or leach under common cell culture conditions, rendering an ideal substrate for native cell culture experiments. Characterised by low cell attachment, the cell-repellent surface is ideal for applications such as:

  • Spheroid cultures and stem cell aggregate formation

  • Suspension culture of semi-adherent and adherent cells

  • (e.g. for suspension culture of macrophages)

  • Gel-based 3D cultures

  • Magnetic 3D cell culturing




NanoShuttle™-PL consists of gold, iron oxide, and poly-L-lysine. NanoShuttle™-PL magnetizes cells by electrostatically attaching to cell membranes during an overnight static incubation. Magnetized cells will appear peppered with dark nanoparticles after incubation. NanoShuttle™-PL will stay attached to the cell membrane for up to 8 days, at which point it’s released into the 3D culture. NanoShuttle™-PL is biocompatible, having no effect on metabolism, proliferation, and inflammatory stress, and even encouraging proliferation in 3D. Additionally, it does not interfere with experimental techniques, such as fluorescence, or Western blotting.


Steps for Creating Spheroids:


Step 1: Magnetize cells with Nanoshuttle™ solution (cells can be plated or in suspension)

Step 2: Place cell repellent plate on bioprinting magnet drive (Either Spheroid or Ring)

Step 3: Pipette magnetized cells from step 1 into microwells of cell repellent plate

Step 4: Incubate plate on the bioprinting magnet drive for at least 15 minutes

Step 5: Remove plate off magnet drive (spheroid or ring) and place it back in the incubator

Step 6: If media exchange is needed, place plate on holding magnet drive and exchange media


For additional information regarding Magnetic 3D applications, data, and products, please review the documents below.


Documents Regarding Magnetic 3D Cell Culture:


3D Cell Culture Overview

3D Cell Culture - Do This, Not That

CELLSTAR® Cell Repellent Surface Flyer


Documents Regarding Magnetic 3D Cell Culture Applications:


Publications Available Regarding Magnetic 3D Cell Culture

Advanced Development of Primary Pancreatic Organoid Tumor Models for High-Throughput Phenotypic Drug Screening

Clinically relevant inflammatory breast cancer patient derived xenograft–derived ex vivo model for evaluation of tumor-specific therapies

How Magnetic 3D Cell Culture Will Change the Future of Drug Discovery