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Researchers make living model of brain tumor
Date:2/16/2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Brown University scientists have created the first three-dimensional living tissue model, complete with surrounding blood vessels, to analyze the effectiveness of therapeutics to combat brain tumors. The 3-D model gives medical researchers more and better information than Petri dish tissue cultures.

The researchers created a glioma, or brain tumor, and the network of blood vessels that surrounds it. In a series of experiments, the team showed that iron-oxide nanoparticles ferrying the chemical tumstatin penetrated the blood vessels that sustain the tumor with oxygen and nutrients. The iron-oxide nanoparticles are important, because they are readily taken up by endothelial cells and can be tracked by magnetic resonance imaging.

Previous experiments have shown that tumstatin was effective at blocking endothelial cell growth in gliomas. The tests by the Brown researchers took it to another level by confirming, in a 3-D, living environment, the iron-oxide nanoparticles' ability to reach blood vessels surrounding a glioma as well as tumstatin's ability to penetrate endothelial cells.

"The 3-D glioma model that we have developed offers a facile process to test diffusion and penetration into a glioma that is covered by a blood vessel-like coating of endothelial cells," said Don Ho, a graduate student in the lab of chemistry professor Shouheng Sun and the lead author of the paper in the journal Theranostics. "This assay would save time and money, while reducing tests in living organisms, to examine an agent's 3-D characteristics such as the ability for targeting and diffusion."

The tissue model concept comes from Jeffrey Morgan, a bioengineer at Brown and a corresponding author on the paper. Building on that work, Ho and others created an agarose hydrogel mold in which rat RG2-cell gliomas roughly 200 microns in diameter formed. The team used endothelial cells derived from cow respirato
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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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