Metastasis is the leading cause of death in many cancers. Metastases are particularly harmful when they affect vital organs such as the brain or liver, severely compromising the patient’s quality of life and leading to death. The difficulties of studying metastases in animal models (time, cost, ethical issues) have meant that therapies targeting metastatic cells are very rare and often ineffective. It is therefore necessary to develop new models that reproduce the behavior of cancer cells at these metastatic sites.

Through Nathan’s PhD work, in collaboration with academic CANTHER lab, HCS Pharma aims at recapitulating in vitro the microenvironment of breast cancer cell metastases with BIOMIMESYS® hydroscaffold, a hyaluronic acid-based matrix grafted with ECM molecules. We will modulate the elasticity and composition of BIOMIMESYS® matrices to study their impact on triple negative breast cancer cell lines by measuring the number of isolated cells, colony formation and their transcriptome. The same parameters will be also studied in co-cultures of cancer cells and “normal” resident cells of the liver stroma and brain parenchyma, like neurons and glial cells to determine the impact of each cell on cancer cell growth. The results obtained in BIOMIMESYS® will be compared with those obtained from ex vivo mouse brain slices and/or liver cultures.

This PhD work will allow the full certification of the BIOMIMESYS® 3D matrices in the context of the study of liver and brain metastases. These models will be extrapolated to other metastatic cancers, allowing the study of their biology and the screening of therapies in these models.

Breast Cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) cultured in BIOMIMESYS®. In blue the nuclei, and in red hyaluronic acid receptor CD44.

Feel free to contact us if you want more information about BIOMIMESYS® 3D matrices!


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