In this study, we developed a rapid strategy to screen a serum-free medium for culturing the anchorage-dependent PC-3 prostate cancer cells, which was going to be prepared in large scale to generate GM-CSF/TNFα-surface-modified whole cell prostate cancer vaccine. Automated real-time cellular analysis as a rapid and non-invasive technology was used to monitor the growth of PC-3 cells in 16-well plates. At the same time, Plackett-Burman design was employed to identify the most influential formulation by integrating relevant information statistically. The effects of the 16 selected factors were evaluated during exponential cell growth and three medium constituents (EGF, FGF and linoleic acid) were identified to have significant effects on the cell growth. Subsequently, the response surface methodology with central composite design was applied to determine the interactions among the three factors so that these factors were optimized to improve cell growth. Finally, the prediction of the best combination was made under the maximal response to optimize cell growth by Design-Expert software 7.0. A total of 20 experiments were conducted to construct a quadratic model and a second-order polynomial equation. With the optimized combination validated by the stability test of serial passaging PC-3 cells, the serum-free medium had similar cell density and cell viability to the original serum medium. In summary, this high-throughput scheme minimized the screening time and may thus provide a new platform to efficiently develop the serum-free media for adherent cells.
Zhao, A., Chen, F., Ning, C., Wu, H., Song, H., Wu, Y., … Gao, J. (2017). Use of real-time cellular analysis and Plackett-Burman design to develop the serum-free media for PC-3 prostate cancer cells. PLoS ONE, 12(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185470