Researchers from the University of Girona, Spain discovered the way to separate breast cancer stem cells with the help of 3D printed scaffolds. This technology will facilitate the study of breast cancer cells and find out pharmaceutical treatments to lower the risk of relapse. An aggressive subtype of breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer, poses higher chances of relapse than other types. This is due to tumor cells remained in the body following chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The team of researchers aim for development of drugs to attack these cancer cells without posing any damage to healthy cells.
Teresa Puig, director of the Oncology Unit of the Group for the Investigation of New Therapeutic Targets, outlined that it is difficult to locate the cancer cells in tumor as they are in low proportions. Researchers used 3D printed scaffold structure for isolating breast cancer cells. The structure was printed with the help of BCN3D Sigma. With extensive research, they came up with the optimal 3D structure.
A series of 27 scaffold configurations were generated with the help of the Taguchi experimental design method. Different print parameters such as infill pattern, infill direction, layer height, infill density, and flow were used for creating the structure. After comprehensive analysis of the structures, they were 3D printed with the help of BCN3D Sigma.
10 3D printed copies of each scaffold structure were taken to determine the efficacy of the structure as a cell culture environment. Moreover, researchers worked on determining the best geometrical structure to isolate the breast cancer cells from other healthy cells. Joaquim de Ciurana, director of the Research Group on the Engineering of Products, Processes, and Production, outlined that the structure is a mesh constructed from various parameters such as spaces, porosities, and distance between adjacent elements and it enables cells to attach itself to the matrix or not, grow, and enrich themselves.
Determining the best 3D printed scaffold structure for separating cancer cells, researchers will analyze the stem cell in more depth than the depth that was possible through conventional 2D cell structures. The ultimate objective is locating the bio-indicators that are responsible for tumors and discover drugs for attacking them without causing harm to any other cells in the body.
The usage of 3D printing for such applications in the healthcare industry has grown significantly. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global 3D printing market would generate nearly $44.39 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 21.8% from 2019 to 2025. The applications in the healthcare industry would create new avenues for 3D printing in coming years.
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