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Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Jul;16(7):2147-52. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0668.

Tissue-engineered three-dimensional tumor models to study tumor angiogenesis.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Cell-microenvironment interactions play a critical role in the transformation of normal cells into cancer; however, the underlying mechanisms and effects are far from being well understood. Tissue Engineering provides innovative culture tools and strategies to study tumorigenesis under pathologically relevant culture conditions. Specifically, integration of biomaterials, scaffold fabrication, and micro/nano-fabrication techniques offers great promise to reveal the dynamic role of chemical, cell-cell, cell-extracellular matrix, and mechanical interactions in the pathogenesis of cancer. Due to the central importance of blood vessel formation in tumor growth, progression, and drug response, this review will discuss specific design parameters for the development of culture microenvironments to study tumor angiogenesis. Tumor engineering approaches have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of cancer, provide new platforms for testing of anti-cancer drugs, and may ultimately result in improved treatment strategies.

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