Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MS Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Beachley, Vince

Second Advisor

Merrill, Thomas

Third Advisor

Vernengo, Andrea J.


Cancer--Treatment; Tumors--Analysis; Cell culture


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering


The purpose of this study was to design and optimize a system for the high-throughput analysis of multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS), and validate the system through the study of a complex biological model. The system was successfully created and optimized, allowing the histological recovery of MCTS at rates up to 90% for microarrays of 24-spheroids. Arrays of 96-spheroids were recovered at rates up to 86%. The system was used to study the penetration of 5k Da-polyethylene coated superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (5k-PEG SPIONs) into HTB-126 breast cancer spheroids cultured to a mean diameter of 486 micrometer (± 25.2 micrometer). Results were compared to an identical study using 2D cultures. Positive staining for the SPION dosage of 100 microgram/milliliter in 2D culture regardless of incubation time was observed along with a lack of staining for all other concentrations in both 2D and 3D. SPION incubation led to necrosis in breast cancer spheroids after 3 days.