The “microenvironment” where a tumor develops plays a fundamental role in determining its progression, the onset of metastasis and, eventually, its resistance to therapies. Tumor cells can be considered more or less invasive depending both on the nature of the cells and on the site where they are located. Commonly adopted laboratory culture protocols for the investigation of tumor cells take usually place on standard two-dimensional supports. However, such cultures do not allow for reproduction of the biophysical properties of the tumor's microenvironment, thus causing the cells to lose most of their relevant characteristics. In this work MDA-MB 231 breast cancer cells were cultivated within Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) scaffolds produced via Thermally Induced Phase Separation (TIPS). Starting from a ternary solution (polymer-solvent-nonsolvent) we produced scaffolds with different morphologies, porosities and pore architectures. The influence of porosity and average pore size upon cell adhesion and growth were investigated by using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) as cell viability test, a fluorescence assay staining cell with DAPI and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Our study demonstrates that the average pore size of the polymeric scaffolds influences both the cell adhesion and resulting morphology of the growing breast cancer cells. In particular, the reported data corroborate the evidence that an average pore size ranging from 40 to 50 μm induces tumor cell aggregation and the formation of the irregular tumor masses typically observed in-vivo. In addition, TIPS proved to be a suitable manufacturing technique for finely tuning the scaffolds’ architecture, relevant to developing the most effective microenvironment for an in-vitro tumor cells growth closely mimicking in-vivo conditions.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||TISSUE & CELL|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology