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Multicellular tumor spheroids: a relevant 3D model for in vitro preclinical investigation of polymer nanomedicines

Abstract

Application of nanotechnology to medicine, usually termed as nanomedicine, has given a crucial impulse to the design of various drug-loaded nanocarriers driven by the idea to overcome the limits associated to the traditional delivery modalities, in particular in the field of cancer treatment. However, appropriate preclinical evaluation of the real therapeutic potential of nanomedicines suffers from the lack of relevant models, well representative of the human disease and good predictors of the therapeutic response in patients. In this context a great emphasis has been directed toward 3D tumor models aiming to surmount the insufficient predictive power of traditional 2D monolayer cultures of cancer cells. This review focuses on multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS), which are so far the largest employed 3D tumor model in preclinical studies. After a brief discussion on spheroid construction strategies and analytical/imaging techniques employed in experimental settings, the application of 3D MCTS in the evaluation of nanomedicines displaying various physico-chemical properties is reviewed. Finally, relevant examples of scaffold and microfluidic systems in which MCTS have been included are described.

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Apr 2017, accepted on 15 May 2017 and first published on 15 May 2017


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00559H
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Multicellular tumor spheroids: a relevant 3D model for in vitro preclinical investigation of polymer nanomedicines

    G. Lazzari, P. Couvreur and S. Mura, Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00559H

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