A novel approach to 3D cell culturing using the Dolomite Micro Droplet System

Biotechnology service provider Bioneer A/S, based in Hørsholm, Denmark, is taking advantage of the exceptional microfluidics capabilities of Dolomite’s Micro Droplet System to reliably encapsulate cells in gelatin hydrogels, enabling 3D cell culture growth in a straightforward, easy-to-handle format.

The project is part of the OPTISORT Eurostars project, which sees Bioneer and Dolomite working in partnership with optical cell sorting specialist OptoRobotix to develop novel optically-based technologies for advanced cell sorting.

This latest innovative technique relies on the formation of precisely controlled hydrogel droplets using Dolomite’s microfluidic chips and flow control technology. Flemming Jørgensen, Project Manager at Bioneer, explained: “Encapsulation of protein-producing cells inside gelatin micro droplets offers an affordable, easy to manipulate 3D cell culture technology for non-adherent cells. The small size of the droplets makes it easy for nutrients to diffuse into the droplets from the surrounding medium, and for cellular products to diffuse out, while providing a distinct 3D environment for cell growth. This technology has potential applications for the sorting and isolation of, for example, cells with very high protein yields, and we have already shown the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell cultures continue to grow within this gel matrix with good viability.”


Flemming Jørgensen, Project Manager at Bioneer using Dolomite’s Micro Droplet System for 3D cell culture


“Starting with a premixed cell suspension containing 6% gelatin, the Micro Droplet System is used to create droplets approximately 200 μm in diameter. Addition of a cross linker shortly before droplet production results in the formation of soft hydrogel particles containing just a few cells – or even individual cells if desired, depending on the starting concentration – which are then resuspended in fresh cell medium. Dolomite’s microfluidics technology makes droplet production very easy, allowing us to quickly produce large numbers of droplets for downstream analysis.

Click here to find out more about Dolomite’s range of droplet systems.