A group of researchers in China and the US have successfully created a 3D model of a cancerous tumour using a 3D printer.
The model, which consists of a scaffold of fibrous proteins coated in cervical cancer cells, has provided a realistic 3D representation of a tumour’s environment and could help in the discovery of new drugs and cast new light on how tumours develop, grow and spread throughout the body.
The model consists of a grid structure, 10 mm in width and length, made from gelatin, alginate and fibrin, which recreates the fibrous proteins that make up the extracellular matrix of a tumour.
The grid structure is coated in Hela cells—a unique, ‘immortal’ cell line that was originally derived from a cervical cancer patient in 1951. Due to the cells’ ability to divide indefinitely in laboratory conditions, the cell line has been used in some of the most significant scientific breakthrough studies of the past 50 years. … (Read more)