Biomechanical forces in tissue engineered tumor models
Chim, Letitia K.
Mikos, Antonios G.
Solid tumors are complex three-dimensional (3D) networks of cancer and stromal cells within a dynamic extracellular matrix. Monolayer cultures fail to recapitulate the native microenvironment and therefore are poor candidates for pre-clinical drug studies and studying pathways in cancer. The tissue engineering toolkit allows us to make models that better recapitulate the 3D architecture present in tumors. Moreover, the role of the mechanical microenvironment, including matrix stiffness and shear stress from fluid flow, is known to contribute to cancer progression and drug resistance. We review recent developments in tissue engineered tumor models with a focus on the role of the biomechanical forces and propose future considerations to implement to improve physiological relevance of such models.
ex vivo tumor model; Matrix stiffness; Shear stress; Tissue engineering