Advances in high throughput cell culture technologies for therapeutic screening and biological discovery applications

Hyeon Ryoo, Hannah Kimmel, Evi Rondo, Gregory H. Underhill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cellular phenotypes and functional responses are modulated by the signals present in their microenvironment, including extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, tissue mechanical properties, soluble signals and nutrients, and cell–cell interactions. To better recapitulate and analyze these complex signals within the framework of more physiologically relevant culture models, high throughput culture platforms can be transformative. High throughput methodologies enable scientists to extract increasingly robust and broad datasets from individual experiments, screen large numbers of conditions for potential hits, better qualify and predict responses for preclinical applications, and reduce reliance on animal studies. High throughput cell culture systems require uniformity, assay miniaturization, specific target identification, and process simplification. In this review, we detail the various techniques that researchers have used to face these challenges and explore cellular responses in a high throughput manner. We highlight several common approaches including two-dimensional multiwell microplates, microarrays, and microfluidic cell culture systems as well as unencapsulated and encapsulated three-dimensional high throughput cell culture systems, featuring multiwell microplates, micromolds, microwells, microarrays, granular hydrogels, and cell-encapsulated microgels. We also discuss current applications of these high throughput technologies, namely stem cell sourcing, drug discovery and predictive toxicology, and personalized medicine, along with emerging opportunities and future impact areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10627
JournalBioengineering and Translational Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • high-throughput
  • microfabrication
  • organ-on-a-chip
  • organoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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