Complex tumor spheroid formation and one‐step cancer‐ associated fibroblasts purification from hepatocellular carcinoma tissue promoted by inorganic surface topography

Francesco Dituri, Matteo Centonze, Erwin J.W. Berenschot, Niels R. Tas, Arturo Susarrey-Arce*, Silke Krol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In vitro cell models play important roles as testbeds for toxicity studies, drug development, or as replacements in animal experiments. In particular, complex tumor models such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are needed to predict drug efficacy and facilitate translation into clinical practice. In this work, topographical features of amorphous silicon dioxide (SiO2) are fabricated and tested for cell culture of primary HCC cells and cell lines. The topographies vary from pyramids to octahedrons to structures named fractals, with increased hierarchy and organized in periodic arrays (square or Hexagonal). The pyramids were found to promote complex 2D/3D tissue formation from primary HCC cells. It was found that the 2D layer was mainly composed of cancer‐associated fibroblasts (CAFs), while the 3D spheroids were composed of tumor cells enwrapped by a CAF layer. Compared with conventional protocols for 3D cultures, this novel approach mimics the 2D/3D complexity of the original tumor by invading CAFs and a microtumor. Topographies such as octahedrons and fractals exclude tumor cells and allow one‐step isolation of CAFs even directly from tumor tissue of patients as the CAFs migrate into the structured substrate. Cell lines form spheroids within a short time. The presented inorganic topographical surfaces stimulate complex spheroid formation while avoiding additional biological scaffolds and allowing direct visualization on the substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3233
JournalNanomaterials
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Cancer‐associated fibroblast
  • Cell culture
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • In vitro tumor models
  • Structured surface
  • Tumor spheroids
  • UT-Gold-D

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