Unique animal friendly 3D culturing of human cancer and normal cells

Atena Malakpour Permlid, Plaurent Roci, Elina Fredlund, Felicia Fält, Emil Önell, Per Fredrik Johansson, Stina Oredsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-dimensional cell culturing has proven inadequate as a reliable preclinical tumour model due to many inherent limitations. Hence, novel three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models are needed, which in many aspects can mimic a native tumour with 3D extracellular matrix. Here, we present a 3D electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) mesh mimicking the collagen network of tissue. The naturally hydrophobic PCL mesh was subjected to O2 plasma treatment to obtain hydrophilic fibres. Biocompatibility tests performed using L929 fibroblasts show that the 3D PCL fibre unit compartments were non-toxic. The human breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and JIMT-1, the normal-like human breast cell line MCF-10A, and human adult fibroblast were cultured in PCL meshes and cell proliferation was monitored using the AlamarBlue® assay. Confocal microscopy and cryosectioning show that the cells penetrated deep into the fibre mesh within 1 week of cell culturing. The cancer cells form spheroids with the cells attaching mainly to each other and partly to the fibres. The human adult fibroblasts stretch out along the fibres while the MCF-10A cells stretch between fibres. Overall, we show that normal and cancer cells thrive in the 3D meshes cultured in fetal bovine free medium which eliminates the use of collagen as an extracellular matrix support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 10

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Unique animal friendly 3D culturing of human cancer and normal cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this