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Biomaterials based strategies for engineering tumor microenvironment

January 2017

Forget, A.; Arya, N.

In Tripathi, Anuj & Melo, Jose Savio(Eds.) Advances in Biomaterials for Biomedical Applications. Springer, Singapore, pp. 301-361.

Tissue engineering aims to gain mechanistic insights into human diseases and to develop new treatment protocols. Although 2-dimensional (2-D) flat petri dish culture and in vivo disease-based models are the industrial gold standards for understanding the underlying disease pathophysiology and for drug screening/testing, they are associated with certain limitations. While the 2-D cell culture systems fail to mimic in vivo signaling, animal-based disease models are associated with long incubation period, high cost, ethical constraints as well as depiction of human pathology in different species. Therefore, there has been a paradigm shift towards the development of 3-dimensional (3-D) based in vitro disease models. These models act as bridging gaps between the aforementioned conventional strategies thereby fastening clinical translation. In this regard, biomedical engineering plays a key role towards the development of tissue engineering based 3-D disease models. These models have demonstrated success in recapitulating human diseases in terms of in vivo morphology and signaling. This chapter will present examples of biomaterials-based 3-D engineered disease models with a focus on cancer.

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