Mimicking brain tumor-vasculature microanatomical architecture via co-culture of brain tumor and endothelial cells in 3D hydrogels.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive malignant brain tumor with median survival of 12 months and 5-year survival rate less than 5%. GBM is highly vascularized, and the interactions between tumor and endothelial cells play an important role in driving tumor growth. To study tumor-endothelial interactions, the gold standard co-culture model is transwell culture, which fails to recapitulate the biochemical or physical cues found in tumor niche. Recently, we reported the development of poly(ethylene-glycol)-based hydrogels as 3D niche that supported GBM proliferation and invasion. To further mimic the microanatomical architecture of tumor-endothelial interactions in vivo, here we developed a hydrogel-based co-culture model that mimics the spatial organization of tumor and endothelial cells. To increase the physiological relevance, patient-derived GBM cells and mouse brain endothelial cells were used as model cell types. Using hydrolytically-degradable alginate fibers as porogens, endothelial cells were deployed and patterned into vessel-like structures in 3D hydrogels with high cell viability and retention of endothelial phenotype. Co-culture led to a significant increase in GBM cell proliferation and decrease in endothelial cell expression of cell adhesion proteins. In summary, we have developed a novel 3D co-culture model that mimics the in vivo spatial organization of brain tumor and endothelial cells. Such model may provide a valuable tool for future mechanistic studies to elucidate the effects of tumor-endothelial interactions on tumor progression in a more physiologically-relevant manner.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, C; Li, J; Sinha, S; Peterson, A; Grant, GA; Yang, F

Published Date

  • May 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 202 /

Start / End Page

  • 35 - 44

PubMed ID

  • 30836243

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8740494

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-5905

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.02.024


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands