3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffolds: A new matrix for studying prostate cancer cell-lymphocyte interactions in vitro

Stephen J. Florczyk, Gang Liu, Forrest M. Kievit, Allison M. Lewis, Jennifer D. Wu, Miqin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


The treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains palliative. Immunotherapy offers a potentially effective therapy for CRPC; however, its advancement into the clinic has been slow, in part because of the lack of representative in vitro tumor models that resemble the in vivo tumor microenvironment for studying interactions of CRPC cells with immune cells and other potential therapeutics. This study evaluates the use of 3D porous chitosan-alginate (CA) scaffolds for culturing human prostate cancer (PCa) cells and studying tumor cell interaction with human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) ex vivo. CA scaffolds and Matrigel matrix samples support in vitro tumor spheroid formation over 15 d of culture, and CA scaffolds support live-cell fluorescence imaging with confocal microscopy using stably transfected PCa cells for 55 d. PCa cells grown in Matrigel matrix and CA scaffolds for 15 d are co-cultured with PBLs for 2 and 6 d in vitro and evaluated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and flow cytometry. Both the Matrigel matrix and CA scaffolds support interaction of PBLs with PCa tumors, with CA scaffolds providing a more robust platform for subsequent analyses. This study demonstrates the use of 3D natural polymer scaffolds as a tissue culture model for supporting long-term analysis of interaction of prostate cancer tumor cells with immune cells, providing an in vitro platform for rapid immunotherapy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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