DOI: 10.1177/20412479231200321 ISSN:

Naturally-derived hydrogels for 3D pancreatic tumor models: A short review

Edyta Piłat, Agnieszka Kurdyn, Justyna Kucińska-Lipka
  • Polymers and Plastics

Statistics suggest a high proportion of mortality rate by pancreatic cancer, which is a solid tumor characterized by high heterogeneity and the presence of a complex extracellular matrix. The very low effectiveness of pancreatic cancer treatment roots in the high metastatic potential and drug resistance of this tumor. Therefore, the quest for efficient cellular models enabling precise mimicking in vivo conditions, and anticancer drug development is emerging as a priority. Routinely used 2D culture models offer an initial evaluation of the therapeutic potential of a compound against tumors, while scaffold-free and next-generation scaffold-based 3D hydrogel-based models are found to be promising for appropriate mimicking of the tumor environment and cell interactions. Over the last few years, attention was paid to the use of naturally-derived hydrogel as 3D models for pancreatic tumor modeling. Herein we first overview scaffold-free and scaffold-based 3D tumor models as advanced approaches, followed by placing the focus on naturally-derived hydrogels applied as scaffolds in pancreatic cancer modeling. This short review emphasizes that sustainable hydrogels can almost precisely imitate the complex in vivo microenvironment of pancreatic tumor, thereby hydrogel-based scaffold tumor models may be a breakthrough in pancreatic cancer studies and, in result, significantly improve the poor pancreatic tumor survivability prognosis. Nevertheless, anticancer drug development might be overshadowed by using this family of biomaterials.

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