bims-miftum Biomed News
on Microfluidics and 3D tumor models
Issue of 2020‒08‒16
one paper selected by
Nidhi Menon
Virginia Tech


  1. Cytotherapy. 2020 Aug 05. pii: S1465-3249(20)30790-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dhiman N, Shagaghi N, Bhave M, Sumer H, Kingshott P, Rath SN.
      BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have paradoxically been reported to exert either pro- or anti-tumor effects in vitro. Hyperthermia, in combination with chemotherapy, has tumor-inhibiting effects; however, its role, together with MSCs, so far is not well understood. Furthermore, a lot of research is conducted using conventional 2-dimensional in vitro models that do not mimic the actual tumor microenvironment.AIM: In light of this fact, an indirect method of co-culturing human amniotic membrane-derived MSCs (AMMSCs) with collagen-encapsulated human lung carcinoma cells (A549) was performed using a 3-dimensional (3D) tumor-on-chip device.
    METHODS: The conditioned medium of AMMSCs (AMMSC-CM) or heat-treated AMMSCs (heat-AMMSC-CM) was utilized to create indirect co-culture conditions. Tumor spheroid growth characterization, immunocytochemistry and cytotoxicity assays, and anti-cancer peptide (P1) screening were performed to determine the effects of the conditioned medium.
    RESULTS: The A549 cells cultured inside the 3D microfluidic chip developed into multicellular tumor spheroids over five days of culture. The AMMSC-CM, contrary to previous reports claiming its tumor-inhibiting potential, led to significant proliferation of tumor spheroids. Heat-AMMSC-CM led to reductions in both spheroid diameter and cell proliferation. The medium containing the P1 peptide was found to be the least cytotoxic to tumor spheroids in co-culture compared with the monoculture and heat-co-culture groups.
    CONCLUSIONS: Hyperthermia, in combination with the anticancer peptide, exhibited highest cytotoxic effects. This study highlights the growing importance of 3D microfluidic tumor models for testing stem-cell-based and other anti-cancer therapies.
    Keywords:  3D cell culture; MSC-conditioned medium; lung tumor spheroids; mesenchymal stem cells; microfluidic cancer model
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2020.07.004