Cecilia A., Baecker A., Hamann E., Rack A., van de Kamp T., Gruhl F.J., Hofmann R., Moosmann J., Hahn S., Kashef J., Bauer S., Farago T., Helfen L., Baumbach T.
in Materials Science and Engineering C, 71 (2017) 465-472. DOI:10.1016/j.msec.2016.10.038
© 2016 Prostate cancer (PCa) currently is the second most diagnosed cancer in men and the second most cause of cancer death after lung cancer in Western societies. This sets the necessity of modelling prostatic disorders to optimize a therapy against them. The conventional approach to investigating prostatic diseases is based on two-dimensional (2D) cell culturing. This method, however, does not provide a three-dimensional (3D) environment, therefore impeding a satisfying simulation of the prostate gland in which the PCa cells proliferate. Cryogel scaffolds represent a valid alternative to 2D culturing systems for studying the normal and pathological behavior of the prostate cells thanks to their 3D pore architecture that reflects more closely the physiological environment in which PCa cells develop. In this work the 3D morphology of three potential scaffolds for PCa cell culturing was investigated by means of synchrotron X-ray computed micro tomography (SXCμT) fitting the according requirements of high spatial resolution, 3D imaging capability and low dose requirements very well. In combination with mechanical tests, the results allowed identifying an optimal cryogel architecture, meeting the needs for a well-suited scaffold to be used for 3D PCa cell culture applications. The selected cryogel was then used for culturing prostatic lymph node metastasis (LNCaP) cells and subsequently, the presence of multi-cellular tumor spheroids inside the matrix was demonstrated again by using SXCμT.