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Recapitulating tumour microenvironment in chitosan-gelatin three-dimensional scaffolds: an improved in vitro tumour model

Royal society
Publication Date
  • Molecular Reproduction
  • Development & Genetics (Formed By The Merger Of Dbgl And Crbme)


Owing to the reduced co-relationship between conventional flat Petri dish culture (two-dimensional) and the tumour microenvironment, there has been a shift towards three-dimensional culture systems that show an improved analogy to the same. In this work, an extracellular matrix (ECM)-mimicking three-dimensional scaffold based on chitosan and gelatin was fabricated and explored for its potential as a tumour model for lung cancer. It was demonstrated that the chitosan-gelatin (CG) scaffolds supported the formation of tumoroids that were similar to tumours grown in vivo for factors involved in tumour-cell-ECM interaction, invasion and metastasis, and response to anti-cancer drugs. On the other hand, the two-dimensional Petri dish surfaces did not demonstrate gene-expression profiles similar to tumours grown in vivo. Further, the three-dimensional CG scaffolds supported the formation of tumoroids, using other types of cancer cells such as breast, cervix and bone, indicating a possible wider potential for in vitro tumoroid generation. Overall, the results demonstrated that CG scaffolds can be an improved in vitro tool to study cancer progression and drug screening for solid tumours.

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