Hydrogel-based sealed microchamber arrays for rapid medium exchange and drug testing of cell spheroids

Shotaro Yoshida, Kensuke Sumomozawa, Kuniaki Nagamine, Matsuhiko Nishizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Culturing cell spheroids in microchamber arrays is a widely used method in regenerative medicine and drug discovery while it requires laborious procedures during medium exchange and drug administration. Here, we report a simple method for the medium exchange and drug testing using a hydrogel-based sealed microchamber arrays. Owing to the high molecular permeability of poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel, the sealed microchamber allows nutrients and drugs in outer medium to pass through. Thus, automatic medium exchange and drug testing for all the cell spheroids inside the microchamber arrays are achieved by simply transferring the microchamber from old medium to fresh medium. Cell spheroids of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were cultured inside the sealed microchambers, and it was confirmed that the spheroids were stably positioned inside the microchamber even after transferring 10 times. The cell spheroids showed high viability after culturing for 7 days in the sealed microchamber with the transfer-based medium exchange, which allowed cardiac maturation by simultaneous electrical stimulation. Isoproterenol, a model cardiac drug, was administrated from outside the sealed microchamber to demonstrate the feasibility of drug testing by the rapid transfer method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalBiomedical microdevices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 1


  • Drug testing
  • Human induced pluripotent stem cell
  • Hydrogel
  • Molecular permeability
  • Spheroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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