3-D Cell Culture

The Hamilton 3-D Cell Culture system automates the culturing of cells using 3-D technology from Global Cell Solutions:

  • More relevant leads
  • Higher yield
  • Smaller footprint

The Hamilton STAR enables the new breakthrough technology in 3-D cell culture to scale up from bench-top to large scale automated cell culture.  The Hamilton BioLevitator designed in co-operation with Global Cell Solutions, Inc. uses magnetic beads as substrate for growing cells.  A magnetic field keeps the beads in suspension.  The Hamilton STAR provides one system and one set of controls to manage media exchange, cell plating and liquid handling for cell-based assay processing.  The combination of the two instruments provides a compact and more efficient cell maintenance system as compared to existing 2-D plate based methods for better cell nutrition and easy harvesting and experimentation.

Once the desired number of cells has been cultured, the Hamilton STAR can either dispense trypsin to remove the cells from the beads or introduce compounds to dissolve the bead substrate itself. The workstation can also transfer the cells while they are still adhered to the beads for use with some cell based assays. In this way traditional steps of trypsinization, centrifugation, resuspending, replating, incubation and recovery can be skipped. This mitigates the side affects of trypsinization and minimizes trauma to the cells for increased yield and processing speed.

The Hamilton STAR, when integrated with the BioLevitator, automates all the external liquid handling.  Media exchange must occur on a regular scheduled basis.  Vector software on the STAR manages this for maximum walk-away time and reliability.  Media is stored in disposable refrigerated bags.  Spent media is removed from the vials containing the cells and then immediately replaced with fresh media.  A HEPA filter hood and sterilization of the aspiration and dispense needles maintains the highest level of sterility.

Utilization of 3-D cell culture can result in taller cells, greater expression of microvilli, tighter junctions, increased cellular ATP content, earlier growth acceleration, higher density per unit area, and improved phenotype.

The automated 3D cell culture can be used in:

  • Cell-based assays for drug discovery
    • High content screening
    • ADME-Toxicity
    • Therapeutics
    • Regenerative medicine Cell-based diagnostics
  • Physiological Screening
  • High Cell-based Product Production
  • More Valuable Drug Leads
  • Increasing Relevance of 3-D Biology
  • Tissue Modeling
  • Bench level batch production as a lead to scaling up
  • Cell-based systems to replace egg-based production of “pandemic” vaccines
  • Elimination of animal-based media for manufacturing new technology

For more information on the BioLevitator please see
Global Cell Solutions, Inc.

Features and

  • Complete automation of 3-D cell culture maintenance
  • Compact and efficient Reduced side wall effect – cells adhere to the surface of a bead suspended in solution
  • More consistent cell nutrition - more cells exposed to media
  • Reduced stem cell differentiation – cells experience a more homogenious environment adhered to a small bead in suspended solution
  • Greater yield – suspension of cells controlled by a magnetic field reduces fixed surface adhesion and undesired turbulence
  • Less cell trauma – cells can remain adhered to beads during assay testing without damaging by trypsinization, separation by centrifugation and resuspension
  • Long walk-away time – automated cell media exchange
  • Compact and efficient


  • MICROLAB STAR pipetting workstation
  • BioLevitator module
  • Media dispensing module
  • Media warming module
  • Peristaltic media pump
  • Refrigerated media storage
  • HEPA filter hood


For Sales and Product information, contact 800-648-5950