Invasive epithelial tumors form from cells that are released from their natural basement membrane and form 3-D structures that interact with each other and with the microenvironment of the stromal tissues around the tumor. which often contains collagen. Cancer cells, growing as monolayers on tissue Culture plastic, do not reflect many of the properties of whole tumors. This shortcoming limits their ability to serve as models for testing of pharmacologically active compounds, including those that are being tested as antineoplastics. This work seeks to create new 3-D cellular materials possessing properties similar to those in native tissues Surrounding cancers, specifically electrospun micro- and nanofibrous collagen scaffolds that support tumor growth in 3-D. We hypothesize that a 3-D culture system will provide a better replica of tumor growth in a native environment and, thus, better report the bioactivity of antineoplastic agents. In addition, we optimized conditions and identified physical characteristics that support growth of the highly invasive, prostate cancer bone metastatic cell line C4-2B on these matrices for use in anticancer drug Studies. The effects of matrix porosity, fiber diameter, elasticity, and surface toughness on growth of cancer cells were evaluated. Data indicates that while cells attach and grow well on both nano- and microfibrous electrospun membranes, the microfibrous membrane represented a better approximation of the tumor microenvironment. It was also observed that C4-2B nonadherent cells migrated through the depth of two electrospun membranes and formed colonies resembling tumors on day 3. An apoptosis study revealed that cells on electrospun substrates were more resistant to both antineoplastic agents, docetaxel (DOC), and camptothecin (CAM) compared to the cells grown on standard collagen-coated tissue culture polystyrene (TCP). Growth, Survival, and apoptosis were measured, as well as the differences in the apoptotic capabilities, of the two above-mentioned compounds compared to known clinical performance. We conclude that 3-D electrospun membranes arc amenable to high throughput screening for cancer cell susceptibility and combination killing (Banerjee, S.; Hussain, M.; Wang, Z.; Saliganan, A.; Che, M.; Bonfil, D.; Cher, M.; Sarkar, F.H. Cancer Research, 2007, 67 (8). 3818-26).
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