3D Modeling of Epithelial Tumors-The Synergy between Materials Engineering, 3D Bioprinting, High-Content Imaging, and Nanotechnology

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Abstract

The current statistics on cancer show that 90% of all human cancers originate from epithelial cells. Breast and prostate cancer are examples of common tumors of epithelial origin that would benefit from improved drug treatment strategies. About 90% of preclinically approved drugs fail in clinical trials, partially due to the use of too simplified in vitro models and a lack of mimicking the tumor microenvironment in drug efficacy testing. This review focuses on the origin and mechanism of epithelial cancers, followed by experimental models designed to recapitulate the epithelial cancer structure and microenvironment, such as 2D and 3D cell culture models and animal models. A specific focus is put on novel technologies for cell culture of spheroids, organoids, and 3D-printed
tissue-like models utilizing biomaterials of natural or synthetic origins. Further emphasis is laid on high-content imaging technologies that are used in the field to visualize in vitro models and their morphology. The associated technological advancements and challenges are also discussed. Finally, the review gives an insight into the potential of exploiting nanotechnological approaches in epithelial cancer research both as tools in tumor modeling and how they can be utilized for the development of nanotherapeutics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6225
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • Spheroids, Cellular
  • tumor microenvironment
  • extracellular matrix (ECM)
  • biomaterials
  • 3D bioprinting
  • nanoparticles
  • high-content screening

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