"You want to see nanoparticles that diffuse through the endothelial cells, which is lost in 2-D because you just have diffusion into media," Ho said.
Other 3-D tissue models have been "forced cell arrangements," Ho said. The 3-D glioma model, in contrast, allowed the glioma and the endothelial cells to assemble naturally, just as they would in real life. "It more clearly mimics what would actually happen," Ho explained.
The group then attached tumstatin, part of a naturally occurring protein found in collagen, to iron-oxide nanoparticles and dosed the mold. True to form, the nanoparticles were gobbled up by the endothelial cells. In a series of in vitro experiments, the team reported the tumstatin iron-oxide nanoparticles decreased vasculature growth 2.7 times more than under normal conditions over eight days. "The growth is pretty much flat," Ho said. "There's no new growth of endothelial cells." The next step is to test the tumstatin nanoparticles' performance in the 3-D environment.
"This model has significant potential to help in the testing and optimization of the design of therapeutic/diagnostic nanocarriers and determine their therapeutic capabilities," the researchers write.
|Contact: Richard Lewis|