In a study published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering a team of researchers from Rice University experimented with 3-D printing to create a scaffold to imitate human bone extracellular matrix structures. Led by Bioengineer Antonios Mikos, the group designed and printed polymer porous scaffold of different shaped and sized pores, layering three of each flat surfaced prints and using various amounts of flowing water through them to simulate blood flow caused shear stress (stress parallel to the surface of the structure). They were then “seeded” with tumor cells and placed in
The structure was designed to create a more realistic environment to test Ewing’s sarcoma cells, or bone cancer cells as they spread and the cancer grows. The structure shape affects the ability for cells to attach, how easily they can be nourished and how easily they can spread. Far superior to an observational experiment in a petri dish this design allowed for the researchers to note certain reactions to different stimuli in the cells as they communicated through protein expression needed to grow the cancer.
For an image of the structure please follow the source link.
Rice University. “Better scaffolds help scientists study cancer: Design of 3-D printed materials to learn how tumors proliferate.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2017.