Rapid optical clearing for high-throughput analysis of tumour spheroids

G Gunasingh, AP Browning, NK Haass


Tumour spheroids are fast becoming commonplace in basic cancer research and drug development. Obtaining high-quality data relating to the inner structure of spheroids is important for analysis, yet existing techniques often use equipment that is not commonly available, are expensive, laborious, cause significant size distortion, or are limited to relatively small spheroids. We present a high-throughput method of mounting, clearing, and imaging tumour spheroids that causes minimal size distortion. Spheroids are mounted in an agarose gel to prevent movement, cleared using a solution prepared from commonly available materials, and imaged using confocal microscopy. We find that our method yields high quality two- and three-dimensional images that provide information about the inner structure of spheroids.