Non Animal Testing Database

Humanised matrix-free 3D platform to investigate cancer mechanisms

University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
In recent years, 3D cultures are emerging as a reliable tool to model diseases in vitro due to their close mimicking of in vivo tissue characteristics. Here, three different 3D setups are used to culture different subtypes of human breast cancer cells alone or co-cultured with human mammary fibroblasts to develop matrix-free humanized models of breast cancer. The results showed that a 3D collagen I system supported a wide range of breast cancer cell subtypes and a modification of the Fibrolife system made possible matrix-free cell culture. With this last system, breast cancer cells had a progressive detachment from the surface and formed spheroids with proliferating cells that kept a stable morphology. Furthermore, the co-culture with fibroblasts in low-attachment vessels resulted in efficient co-culture of both cell types with a similar organisation to that in vivo. Overall, the researchers develop a new humanised 3D matrix-free platform to investigate the interplay between fibroblasts and human cancer cells with the potential of facilitating the discovery of new disease mechanisms.
An evaluation of matrix-containing and humanised matrix-free 3-dimensional cell culture systems for studying breast cancer
Valerie Speirs
Added on: 11-02-2021
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