Tuning Biochemical and Mechanical Properties of 3D Hydrogel Tweak Stem and Cancer Cells Cross-talk

last updated: 2018-07-17
ProjectFoReCaST :: publications list
TitleTuning Biochemical and Mechanical Properties of 3D Hydrogel Tweak Stem and Cancer Cells Cross-talk
Publication TypeComunications - Poster
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKundu B., Bastos A. R., Brancato V., Oliveira J. M., Correlo V. M., Rei R. L., and Kundu S. C.

Osteosarcoma (OS), is the second most typical primary malignancy after multiple myeloma. Solid tumors like osteosarcomas are commonly considered as "organs", comprise of cancer cells and tumor stroma. Tumor stroma is made from tumor microenvironment, which includes extracellular matrix, stem cells, immune cells, endothelial cells, diverse networks of cytokines and growth factors1. Tumor microenvironment works silently, while largely governs the cellular fate. Therefore, an attempt is made to investigate the effect of tumor microenvironment by means of extracellular matrix and stem cells on osteosarcoma development and progression. Looking for a biomimetic biomaterial other than collagen for osteosarcoma modeling is challenging. Silk protein fibroin can be a suitable alternative due to its well recognition in bone tissue engineering2 and can readily be blended with other polymers like gellan gum. Blended spongy-like hydrogel library of silk - gellan gum3 with tunable structural and mechanical properties are fabricated. Human osteosarcoma and adipose derived stem cells are co-cultured using this biomaterial library. The resultant constructs are then screened for formation of spheroid, which is the typical phenomenon of solid tumor. The formation of spheroids in selective spongy-like hydrogels is suggestive of regulatory influence of biophysical cues in cancer (spheroid) formation and succession. The heterogeneity of present model, both at structural and cellular level, recapitulates more closely the diversity of physiological tumor microenvironment. This is anticipated to be useful in predicting the efficacy of cancer chemotherapeutics.

Acknowledgement:This work is supported by the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under grant agreement nº 668983 — FoReCaST. VM Correlo acknowledges Investigator FCT program (IF/01214/2014) and JM Oliveira to the program Investigador FCT2015 (IF/01285/2015).


  1. Rodrigues T, Kundu B, Silva-Correia J, Kundu SC, Oliveira JM, Reis RL, Correlo VM. Emerging tumor spheroids technologies for 3D in vitro cancer modeling. Pharmacol. Ther. 2018; 184:201-211.
  2. Bhattacharjee P, Kundu B, Naskar D, Kim HW, Maiti TK, Bhattacharya D, Kundu SC. Silk scaffolds in bone tissue engineering: An overview. Acta Biomater. 2017; 63:1-17.
  3. da Silva LP, Cerqueira MT, Sousa RA, Reis RL, Correlo VM, Marques AP. Engineering cell-adhesive gellan gum spongy-like hydrogels for regenerative medicine purposes. Acta Biomater. 2014; 10:4787-4797.
Conference NameSummer School Chem2Nature
Date Published2018-06-04
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Keywords3D cancer model, Gellan Gum, Human adipose stem cells, Osteosarcoma, silk
Peer reviewedno

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