Authors Mahajan, V. ; Beck, T. ; Gregorczyk, P. ; Ruland, A. ; Alberti, S. ; Guck, J. ; Werner, C. ; Schlüßler, R. ; Taubenberger, A. V.
Title Mapping tumor spheroid mechanics in dependence of 3D microenvironment stiffness and degradability by brillouin microscopy
Date 31.12.2021
Number 59927
Abstract Little is known about how cancer cells adapt their mechanical properties in complex 3D microenvironments. Here we generated different types of tumor spheroids within compliant or stiff hydrogels. We then quantitatively mapped the mechanical properties of these spheroids in situ using Brillouin microscopy. Maps acquired for tumor spheroids grown within stiffer hydrogels showed elevated Brillouin shifts, hence spheroids became “stiffer” compared to the ones cultured within compliant gels. The spheroid’s mechanical properties were modulated by various microenvironment properties including matrix stiffness and degradability and the resultant compressive stress but also depending on whether single cells or cell aggregates were analyzed. Moreover, spheroids generated from a panel of invasive breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer cell lines within degradable stiff hydrogels became stiffer and at the same time, less invasive compared to those in compliant hydrogels. Taken together, our findings contribute to a better understanding of the interplay between cancer cells and their microenvironment, which is relevant to better understand cancer progression.
Journal Cancers
Citation Cancers 13 (2021) 5549

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