Measurement of the drug sensitivity of single prostate cancer cells

Fikri Abali*, Narges Baghi, Lisanne Mout, Joska J. Broekmaat, Arjan G.J. Tibbe, Leon W.M.M. Terstappen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


The treatment of cancer faces a serious challenge as cancer cells within patients are heterogeneous and frequently resistant to therapeutic drugs. Here, we introduce a technology enabling the assessment of single cancer cells exposed to different drugs. PCa cells were individually sorted in self-seeding microwells, cultured for 24 h, and then exposed to several drugs to induce (R1881) or inhibit (Enzalutamide/Abiraterone) the secretion of a protein (PSA). Cell viability and PSA secretion of each individual prostate cell were monitored over a 3-day period. The PSA protein secreted by each cell was captured on a PVDF membrane through a pore in the bottom of each well. The basal PSA secretion was found to be 6.1 ± 4.5 and 3.7 ± 1.9 pg/cell/day for LNCaP and VCaP, respectively. After exposure to R1881, the PSA secretion increased by ~90% on average and was not altered for ~10% of the cells. PSA production decreased in the majority of cells after exposure to enzalutamide and abiraterone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6083
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Drug screening
  • Microwell arrays
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
  • Protein secretion
  • Single cancer cells
  • UT-Gold-D


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