3D cell culture and analysis and the study of organoids and spheroids are becoming more prevalent as a research method in publications. Traditional 2D cell cultures lack the organizational complexity and longevity needed to serve as effective models. 3D cell culture can offer more physiologically relevant testing models, and, as experimental techniques are refined and methods are optimized, the use of 3D cell culture, organoids, and spheroids in applications such as disease modeling and regenerative medicine are becoming more common.

The purpose of this learning center is to connect researchers to our many resources for information about culture and analysis of 3D models and to highlight effective protocols, methods, and techniques to help ensure your success.


microscopic image of 3D cell model

Researchers utilize cell lines often to elucidate disease models of interest. Gibco cell lines allow you to closely mimic the in vivo state and generate more physiologically relevant data for organoid and spheroid research.

  • Primary cells education—Learn more about our primary cell culture tools, protocols, FAQs and custom services
  • Neuronal cells—Explore our Neuro protocols area and learn more about neural cell culture and differentiation, cell analysis, molecular characterization, and transfection
  • Stem cells—Harness the power of the stem cell and find out more about our extensive educational resources supporting stem cell research

fluorescence image of organoid

Thermo Scientific Nunclon Sphera culture systems are designed for spheroid culture (e.g., 3D tumor spheroids) and organoid culture (e.g., brain organoids) with a wide selection of format from plates to dishes and flasks. 

  • Application note—Harnessing new dimensions in your research: coming ‘round to cancer spheroid culture
  • Article—Formation of uniform and reproducible 3D cancer spheroids in high-throughput plates
  • Blog post—A brief history of spheroids and 3D culture

fluorescence image of cultured cells within supporting matrix

Culturing cells on flat plasticware surfaces results in artificial two-dimensional sheets of cells. Normal cells in the human body experience a three-dimensional environment, completely surrounded by other cells, membranes, fibrous layers, and adhesion proteins.


Gibco media

Cited in numerous organoid and spheroid peer-reviewed papers, Gibco media and reagents are widely used in the growth, differentiation and maturation of cellular 3D models. This is where a culture system can be developed to suit specialized cell types like stem cells or cancer cell lines.

  • Cell culture and supplements—Explore our many resources for learning about cell culture methods and techniques
  • Growth factors—Explore our “Growth Facts” section where we have compiled a list from experienced researchers of important facts about growth factors

microscopic image of spheroids growing in multiwell plate

Growing 3D models is a large investment in time and resources, and you need reassurance that your investment is going to give you the 3D models that you anticipate. Our portfolio of visualization tools allows you to monitor the formation of your organoids and 3D models to help give you confidence that you are heading in the right direction.


multicolor fluorescence image of cultured spheroid

Confirming that 3D cell structures are maintaining the appropriate physiological morphology is paramount to reaching successful research outcomes. Our imaging and high-content analysis platforms and reagents have been recognized as trustworthy systems for analyzing organoid and spheroid cultures.

  • Education—Analysis and quantification basics
  • Article—Tools for Neuronal cell culture and analysis
  • Article—Improving the quality in 2D and 3D biological samples
  • Software solution—volumetric, morphometric, and intensity measurements of 3D cell structure using Amira software