Biomimetic 3D cancer models for use in drug discovery
TAP Biosystems is working with University College London (UCL) to develop solid tumour tissue models using its RAFT 3D cell culture system.
The three way collaboration, between TAP Biosystems and researchers on two UCL sites at the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, will focus on developing technology to generate advanced 3D cancer tissue models for use in research and drug discovery.
Their aim is to use TAP’s RAFT (Real Architecture for 3D Tissue) technology to reproduce solid tumour micro architecture, by seeding co-cultures of cancer cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells into a collagen gel.
With the correct conditions, fibroblasts aggregate around the cancer cells to form connective tissue, and the endothelial cells fuse to form, producing angiogenic growth and rudimentary vasculature, so that the final co-culture has many of the features and behaviour of a solid tumour.
Dr Marilena Loizidou, Senior Lecturer, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science at UCL explained:”Our ultimate aim is to engineer reproducible 3D tissues to test the efficacy of compounds and biologics to treat solid tumours in diseases such as breast, bowel and bladder cancer.
“By engineering these types of tissues, we’ll have a far reaching impact on translational research, as we could more readily tease out the mechanisms of why drugs do or don’t act effectively on tumours.”
Dr Umber Cheema, Research Fellow at the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science at UCL added: “When making 3D cancer tissues it is very difficult to do this in a controlled, reproducible way, and we need help making the tissue formation process consistent for pharma and biotech use.”
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