Paper bodies to test new drugs? This is a problem of Harvard researchers from the laboratory Shryki Yu Zhang, who created artificial organs from cellulose (the molecules that make up the paper) to mimic breast cancer. These paper bodies, once covered by cancer cells, will be checked in the context of pharmaceutical molecules, closer to the physiological situation, at a lower price. "This technology is very interesting, it can change the pharmaceutical research!" carries Shryke Yu Zhang, an expert in the field of biomedical engineering.
Used cellulose produced by bacteria, which makes it easy and inexpensive. Then, the hydrogel obtained, the mixture of cellulose and water, which may take the form of tissue through the mold as in the preparation of cake. When drying, this structure (so-called matrix) becomes porous, such as paper, allowing the exchange of nutrients and oxygen between cells, which would nasyalyatstsa in this matrix, or even their migration and proliferation. In addition, the blood vessels are restored using 3D-printers using a hydrophobic ink to be placed when heated by the formation of microchannels. " These paints are semi-solid and immiscible with hydrogel due to its gidrafobnastsi"Explains Mr. Zhang.
Paper gets cancer
For their study published in the scientific journal nano LettersResearchers identify microchannels umbilical cord cells (HUVEC), to simulate real blood vessels. The rest of the structure of MCF-7 cells was filled with breast cancer. To test their biomimetic model (because it mimics life), researchers administered tamoxifen, a drug that is used to treat breast cancer, through the fake blood vessels. After 48 hours, the drug was able to kill many cancer cells, without affecting endothelial cells, which are lined up in the blood vessels. Researchers estimate that the model will produce check medications directly to the patient's cells: "With these artificial organs we can make customized models using cells from a biopsy, to ensure that the drug is working properly."
Robust and stable model
According to the authors, this type of pulp body can be used to simulate a large number of pathological diseases in addition to cancer, and can be mass production in a short time (about one day of production) and at a low cost: each unit will cost less than 4 cents! Icing on the cake, these structures are made of the bacterial cellulose may be stored for a long time when they are dried, and after humidification can accommodate any type of cells without degradation. "This is a good, stable and cheap way"Smiles Zhang Yu Shrike Like the fact that even in the era of nanotechnology, no B & # 39;. E ink and paper.