Opportunities and challenges for use of tumor spheroids as models to test drug delivery and efficacy

Geeta Mehta

Associate Professor

mehtagee@umich.edu

3044 NCRC, Building 28

T: (734) 763-3957

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Geeta Mehta, Amy Y Hsiao, Marylou Ingram, Gary D Luker, and Shuichi Takayama (2012)

JOURNAL OF CONTROLLED RELEASE, 164(2):192-204.

Multicellular spheroids are three dimensional in vitro microscale tissueanalogs. The current article examines the suitability of spheroids as anin vitro platform for testing drug delivery systems. Spheroids modelcritical physiologic parameters present in vivo, including complexmulticellular architecture, barriers to mass transport, andextracellular matrix deposition. Relative to two-dimensional cultures,spheroids also provide better target cells for drug testing and areappropriate in vitro models for studies of drug penetration. Keychallenges associated with creation of uniformly sized spheroids,spheroids with small number of cells and co-culture spheroids areemphasized in the article. Moreover, the assay techniques required forthe characterization of drug delivery and efficacy in spheroids and thechallenges associated with such studies are discussed. Examples for theuse of spheroids in drug delivery and testing are also emphasized. By

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