Sartorius eBook - 7

THE FUTURE OF DRUG DISCOVERY: LIVE 3D CELL ANALYSIS

Yu Long Han, MIT

A tumor's invasiveness depends on its water content and the stiffness of its exterior. In the top row, a tumor
progresses normally toward an invasive profile. If water is drawn out of the same tumor (middle row), it is less
invasive, compared to when the tumor is infused with water (bottom row), causing it to quickly burst and invade
surrounding tissue.

cells in 3D and transform them into a human

then grows into a larger spheroid with cells in

breast cancer tumor in the lab. Over the course

the center, or core, and around the edge, or

of a week, the researchers watched as the cells

periphery. As the spheroid develops further,

multiplied and coalesced into a benign primary

invasive branches extend from the main body

tumor that comprised several hundred individual

into the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM).

cells. They saw how, starting from a single cell, a

"The phenotype observed in this 3D breast

multicellular cluster started to grow, and invasive

cancer model shows uncontrolled cellular

branches developed over approximately 10 days.

proliferation, lack of cellular polarization, and

The process starts with an individual cell

the initiation of matrix invasion, much like those

proliferating to form a spherical cluster, which

observed in vivo in invasive ductal carcinomas,"

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Sartorius eBook

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