Article

Opportunities and challenges for use of tumor spheroids as models to test drug delivery and efficacy

Department of Periodontics & Oral Medicine, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2099, United States.
Journal of Controlled Release (Impact Factor: 7.63). 05/2012; 164(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2012.04.045
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Multicellular spheroids are three dimensional in vitro microscale tissue analogs. The current article examines the suitability of spheroids as an in vitro platform for testing drug delivery systems. Spheroids model critical physiologic parameters present in vivo, including complex multicellular architecture, barriers to mass transport, and extracellular matrix deposition. Relative to two-dimensional cultures, spheroids also provide better target cells for drug testing and are appropriate in vitro models for studies of drug penetration. Key challenges associated with creation of uniformly sized spheroids, spheroids with small number of cells and co-culture spheroids are emphasized in the article. Moreover, the assay techniques required for the characterization of drug delivery and efficacy in spheroids and the challenges associated with such studies are discussed. Examples for the use of spheroids in drug delivery and testing are also emphasized. By addressing these challenges with possible solutions, multicellular spheroids are becoming an increasingly useful in vitro tool for drug screening and delivery to pathological tissues and organs.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
141 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose Tumor targeting nanomaterials have potential for improving the efficiency of anti-tumoral therapeutics. However, the evaluation of their biological performance remains highly challenging. In this study we describe the synthesis of multifunctional nanoparticles decorated with folic acid-PEG and dual amino acid-modified chitosan (CM-PFA) complexed with DNA and their evaluation in organotypic 2D co-cultures of cancer-normal cells and also on 3D multicellular tumor spheroids models. Methods The physicochemical characterization of CM-PFA multifunctional carriers was performed by FTIR, 1H NMR and DLS. 2D co-culture models were established by using a 1:2 cancer-to-normal cell ratio. 3D organotypic tumor spheroids were assembled using micromolding technology for high throughput screening. Nanoparticle efficiency was evaluated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Results The CM-PFA nanocarriers (126–176 nm) showed hemocompatibility and were internalized by target cells, achieving a 3.7 fold increase in gene expression. In vivo-mimicking 2D co-cultures confirmed a real affinity towards cancer cells and a negligible uptake in normal cells. The targeted nanoparticles penetrated into 3D spheroids to a higher extent than non-targeted nanocarriers. Also, CM-PFA-mediated delivery of p53 tumor suppressor promoted a decrease in tumor-spheroids volume. Conclusion These findings corroborate the improved efficiency of this delivery system and demonstrate its potential for application in cancer therapy.
    Pharmaceutical Research 02/2015; 32(2):562-577. DOI:10.1007/s11095-014-1486-0) · 4.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) with human blood-brain barrier-forming endothelial cells (HBMEC) in two-dimensional cell monolayers as well as in three-dimensional multicellular spheroids. The precise nanoparticle localisation and the influence of the NP on the cellular viability and the intracellular Akt signalling were studied in detail. Long-term effects of different polymer-coated nanoparticles (neutral fluidMAG-D, anionic fluidMAG-CMX and cationic fluidMAG-PEI) and the corresponding free polymers on cellular viability of HBMEC were investigated by real time cell analysis studies. Nanoparticles exert distinct effects on HBMEC depending on the nanoparticles' surface charge and concentration, duration of incubation and cellular context. The most severe effects were caused by PEI-coated nanoparticles. Concentrations above 25 µg/ml led to increased amounts of dead cells in monolayer culture as well as in multicellular spheroids. On the level of intracellular signalling, context-dependent differences were observed. Monolayer cultures responded on nanoparticle incubation with an increase in Akt phosphorylation whereas spheroids on the whole show a decreased Akt activity. This might be due to the differential penetration and distribution of PEI-coated nanoparticles.
    Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 04/2015; 380:27-33. DOI:10.1016/j.jmmm.2014.10.039 · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To precisely and faithfully perform cell-based drug chemosensitivity assays, a well-defined and biologically relevant culture condition is required. For the former, a perfusion microbioreactor system capable of providing a stable culture condition was adopted. For the latter, however, little is known about the impact of culture models on the physiology and chemosensitivity assay results of primary oral cavity cancer cells. To address the issues, experiments were performed. Results showed that minor environmental pH change could significantly affect the metabolic activity of cells, demonstrating the importance of stable culture condition for such assays. Moreover, the culture models could also significantly influence the metabolic activity and proliferation of cells. Furthermore, the choice of culture models might lead to different outcomes of chemosensitivity assays. Compared with the similar test based on tumor-level assays, the spheroid model could overestimate the drug resistance of cells to cisplatin, whereas the 2D and 3D culture models might overestimate the chemosensitivity of cells to such anticancer drug. In this study, the 3D culture models with same cell density as that in tumor samples showed comparable chemosensitivity assay results as the tumor-level assays. Overall, this study has provided some fundamental information for establishing a precise and faithful drug chemosensitivity assay.
    BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015:470283. DOI:10.1155/2015/470283 · 2.71 Impact Factor