Visikol Launches 3D In Vitro Steatosis Assays

Steatosis, or the abnormal retention of lipids within cells, is a common consequence of hepatocellular insult, which can be drug-induced or can be an outcome in pathophysiogical disease progression. Regardless of source, there is a need for reliable quantification of lipid droplet accumulation in in vitro liver toxicity testing and in models of liver disease. Therefore, Visikol has now added a 3D cell culture steatosis capability to its portfolio of 3D cell culture assay services

Agnostic approach to 3D cell culture models

At Visikol, we take an agnostic approach when implementing cell models in in vitro assays. Instead of establishing a single propriety model for each assay, we work with our clients to determine the scale and dimensionality of the model that best suits each project’s need. For example, in the context of hepatocellular assays, we can offer either 2D or 3D culture formats and monoculture (i.e. HepG2, primary hepatocytes, etc) or multicellular (hepatocyte, hepatic stellate cell, Kupfer cell, liver endothelial cell) models.

Custom models

For hepatocellular assays, we can offer either 2D or 3D culture formats and monoculture (i.e. HepG2, primary hepatocytes, etc) or multicellular (hepatocyte, hepatic stellate cell, Kupfer cell, liver endothelial cell) models.

Study design

Once a model is decided on, cells are treated with the client’s test compound(s) as well as with appropriate controls. For steatosis assays, we recommend a simple oleic acid treatment as a positive control and a vehicle-only negative control but can accommodate any combination of experimental and control groups in a high throughput 96- or 384-well format. Treated cells are labeled with either Thermo Fisher’s LipidTOX red neutral lipid stain or with Nile red, depending on client preference.

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Quantitative insights

At Visikol, we pride ourselves on our ability to transform high content screening data into quantitative and digestible insights. Our standard approach to analyzing image data for steatosis assays is to quantify relative lipid accumulation via an area percent normalized to controls. However, we can deliver other quantitative metrics such as per-cell lipid droplet frequency or lipid droplet size via higher resolution imaging and modified image processing algorithms. Contact Visikol today to see how we can address your lipotoxicity screening needs.

Michael Johnson