A simple, low-cost staining method for rapid-throughput analysis of tumor spheroids

Frank Eckerdt*, Angel Alvarez, Jonathan Bell, Constadina Arvanitis, Asneha Iqbal, Ahmet D. Arslan, Bo Hu, Shi Yuan Cheng, Stewart Goldman, Leonidas C. Platanias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Tumor spheroids are becoming an important tool for the investigation of cancer stem cell (CSC) function in tumors; thus, low-cost and high-throughput methods for drug screening of tumor spheroids are needed. Using neurospheres as non-adherent three-dimensional (3-D) cultures, we developed a simple, low-cost acridine orange (AO)–based method that allows for rapid analysis of live neurospheres by fluorescence microscopy in a 96-well format. This assay measures the cross-section area of a spheroid, which corresponds to cell viability. Our novel method allows rapid screening of a panel of anti-proliferative drugs to assess inhibitory effects on the growth of cancer stem cells in 3-D cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • Acridine orange
  • Cancer stem cell
  • Glioblastoma
  • Microscopy
  • Neurospheres
  • Tumor spheroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology


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