Reductionist Three-Dimensional Tumor Microenvironment Models in Synthetic Hydrogels.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a determining role in everything from disease progression to drug resistance. As such, in vitro models which can recapitulate the cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that occur in situ are key to the investigation of tumor behavior and selecting effective therapeutic drugs. While naturally derived matrices can retain the dimensionality of the native TME, they lack tunability and batch-to-batch consistency. As such, many synthetic polymer systems have been employed to create physiologically relevant TME cultures. In this review, we discussed the common semi-synthetic and synthetic polymers used as hydrogel matrices for tumor models. We reviewed studies in synthetic hydrogels which investigated tumor cell interactions with vasculature and immune cells. Finally, we reviewed the utility of these models as chemotherapeutic drug-screening platforms, as well as the future directions of the field.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Katz, RR; West, JL

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1225 -

PubMed ID

  • 35267532

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8909517

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2072-6694

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2072-6694

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/cancers14051225


  • eng