Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D printing cancer cells to mimic tumors

Date:
April 10, 2014
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
A 3-D model of a cancerous tumor using a 3-D printer has been successfully created by researchers. The model consists of a grid structure, 10 mm in width and length, made from gelatin, alginate and fibrin, which recreates the fibrous proteins that make up the extracellular matrix of a tumor. "With further understanding of these 3D models, we can use them to study the development, invasion, metastasis and treatment of cancer using specific cancer cells from patients. We can also use these models to test the efficacy and safety of new cancer treatment therapies and new cancer drugs," the lead author stated.

The model consists of a grid structure, 10 mm in width and length, made from gelatin, alginate and fibrin, which recreates the fibrous proteins that make up the extracellular matrix of a tumor.
Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics

A group of researchers in China and the US have successfully created a 3D model of a cancerous tumor using a 3D printer.

The model, which consists of a scaffold of fibrous proteins coated in cervical cancer cells, has provided a realistic 3D representation of a tumor's environment and could help in the discovery of new drugs and cast new light on how tumors develop, grow and spread throughout the body.

The results of the study have been published today, 11 April, in IOP Publishing's journal Biofabrication.

The model consists of a grid structure, 10 mm in width and length, made from gelatin, alginate and fibrin, which recreates the fibrous proteins that make up the extracellular matrix of a tumor.

The grid structure is coated in Hela cells -- a unique, 'immortal' cell line that was originally derived from a cervical cancer patient in 1951. Due to the cells' ability to divide indefinitely in laboratory conditions, the cell line has been used in some of the most significant scientific breakthrough studies of the past 50 years.

Although the most effective way of studying tumors is to do so in a clinical trial, ethical and safety limitations make it difficult for these types of studies to be carried out on a wide scale.

To overcome this, 2D models, consisting of a single layer of cells, have been created to mimic the physiological environment of tumors so that different types of drugs can be tested in a realistic way.

With the advent of 3D printing, it is now possible to provide a more realistic representation of the environment surrounding a tumor, which the researchers have demonstrated in this study by comparing results from their 3D model with results from a 2D model.

In addition to testing if the cells remained viable, or alive, after printing, the researchers also examined how the cells proliferated, how they expressed a specific set of proteins, and how resistant they were to anti-cancer drugs.

The proteins studied were part of the MMP protein family. These proteins are used by cancer cells to break through their surrounding matrix and help tumors to spread. Resistance to anti-cancer drugs, which was also studied, is a good indicator of tumor malignancy.

The results revealed that 90 per cent of the cancer cells remained viable after the printing process. The results also showed that the 3D model had more similar characteristics to a tumor compared to 2D models and in the 3D model the cancer cells showed a higher proliferation rate, higher protein expression and higher resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

The lead author of the research, Professor Wei Sun, from Tsinghua University, China, and Drexel University, USA, said: "We have provided a scalable and versatile 3D cancer model that shows a greater resemblance to natural cancer than 2D cultured cancer cells."

"With further understanding of these 3D models, we can use them to study the development, invasion, metastasis and treatment of cancer using specific cancer cells from patients. We can also use these models to test the efficacy and safety of new cancer treatment therapies and new cancer drugs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yu Zhao, Rui Yao, Liliang Ouyang, Hongxu Ding, Ting Zhang, Kaitai Zhang, Shujun Cheng, Wei Sun. Three-dimensional printing of Hela cells for cervical tumor modelin vitro. Biofabrication, 2014; 6 (3): 035001 DOI: 10.1088/1758-5082/6/3/035001

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "3-D printing cancer cells to mimic tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194613.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2014, April 10). 3-D printing cancer cells to mimic tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194613.htm
Institute of Physics. "3-D printing cancer cells to mimic tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194613.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins