Fibrin hydrogel scaffolds for three-dimensional breast cancer cell culture

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906283092
Title: Fibrin hydrogel scaffolds for three-dimensional breast cancer cell culture
Author: Heilala, Maria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906283092
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303604
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: Despite the advances in the management of breast cancer, discovery of novel and targeted drugs remains a challenge. It has been suggested that drug failure rates in clinical trials might be diminished by improving the predictive potential of preclinical cancer models. Three-dimensional (3D) scaffold-based cell culture has emerged as an attractive platform for mimicking tissue-like microenvironment, since it is well-known that cells respond to the cues in the extracellular matrix (ECM). The aim of this thesis was to develop fibrin-based hydrogels and evaluate their performance in 3D cell culture of breast cancer cells. The fibrin gel formulation was first optimized by testing the effect of different buffers on gel properties. Structural properties were examined with scanning electron microscopy and mechanical properties measured with oscillatory rheometry. Three different fibrin concentrations of the optimized formulation were then used as scaffolds for DU4475 breast cancer cells. After seven days of culture, the morphology, phenotype and proliferation of the resulting cell structures were assessed by using techniques such as light microscopy, immunofluorescent confocal microscopy and Western blot analysis. The desired properties for 3D cell culture were obtained by preparing fibrin gels at high pH in the absence of calcium. The main finding of the thesis was that fibrin concentration strongly affected the phenotype of DU4475 cells, with cells cultured in the softest gel retaining their original characteristics to the greatest extent. In the future, the developed scaffold could possibly be used in drug discovery and personalized medicine by culturing tumor explants from patients. However, the methods used in the study must be further optimized and the results validated with other breast cancer cell lines and with primary tissues.
Subject: 3D cell culture
breast cancer
extracellular matrix
fibrin
hydrogel
spheroid
Discipline: biokemia
Biochemistry
biokemi
Full text embargoed until: 2021-06-25


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