In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 946–950

Use of a laser diffraction particle sizer for the measurement of mean diameter of multicellular tumor spheroids

  • C. D. Boothby
  • Jill Daniel
  • Sandra Adam
  • J. E. D. Dyson
Regular Papers


Increasing use is being made of tumor cell lines cultured as cell aggregates (generally referred to as multicellular spheroids) in in vitro radiosensitivity and/or chemosensitivity tests. Conventional procedures for the determination of mean spheroid diameters for the construction of growth delay curves employ a microscope-image analyzer. However, this approach can prove excessively time consuming when large numbers of samples have to be, measured. We have, therefore, been exploring the use of a Laser Diffraction Particle Sizer, the Malvern 2600 long bench model, for the measurement of mean spheroid diameter and size distribution. We report here a direct comparison between measurements carried out by the instrument and under the microscope. Also a comparison of growth curves for six cell lines constructed from measurements by the microscope and by the instrument. A number of factors that might affect the accuracy of spheroid diameter measurement by the instrument have been investigated: The effect of stirring to maintain the spheroids in suspension during measurement. Sampling error due to removal of a series of spheroid samples from culture flasks for measurement. Optimum number of scans to be carried out by the instrument to reach a constant value for mean diameter, and minimum SE of the mean.

Key words

tumor spheroids chemosensitivity testing radiosensitivity testing multicell spheroids spheroid culture 


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Copyright information

© Tissue Culture Association, Inc 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. D. Boothby
    • 1
  • Jill Daniel
    • 1
  • Sandra Adam
    • 1
  • J. E. D. Dyson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University Department of RadiotherapyCookridge HospitalLeedsUK
  2. 2.Department of RadiobilogyCookridge HospitalLeedsUK

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