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3D printing cancer tumors
Date:4/25/2014

imensional culture models can not represent true 3D physiological tissues so it lacks the microenvironment characteristics of natural 3D tissues in vivo. This inherent inadequacy leads to shortcomings in cancer research and anti-tumor drug development. On the other hand, 3D tumor models can represent true tumor 3D pathological organizations and will lead to a new paradigm for cancer study."

As part of the National Science Foundation-funded study, Sun tested his tumor model against a two-dimensional culture sample using a common anti-cancer drug. Sun's 3D printed tumors showed more resistance to chemical treatment than the same cancer cells grown in a petri dish an illustration of the disparity that exists between test results and success rates of cancer treatments.

Sun, who is a mechanical engineering researcher with a focus on biomodeling, designed and patented a special 3D printer in 2002 so his lab, the Drexel Biofabrication Laboratory, could make tissue samples and bone scaffolds as part of their research. As his work progressed, it became apparent that the next step was to figure out a way to print living 3D models of tissues and organs.

With a significant background in the extrusion, or additive, modeling process, Sun and his team were able to control for the main variables: diameter of nozzle, speed and pressure of extrusion, pattern and size of deposition, and viscosity and temperature of substrate materials.

For the undertaking, Sun's team, composed of researchers at Drexel University, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and Drexel-Shanghai Advanced Research Center in Shanghai, China, used a multi-nozzle printer to extrude a gelatinous mixture of hydrogels and living cervical cancer cells. The result was a cellular deposition in which 90 percent of the cancer cells survived the process and within eight days had grown into spheroid-shaped tumors.

"The keys to keeping the cells alive were controlling the te
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Contact: Britt Faulstick
bef29@drexel.edu
215-895-2617
Drexel University
Source:Eurekalert  

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