3D lab-grown pancreatic cancer model mimics the branching development of the disease
Cancer comes in all shapes and sizes. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) forms branching structures as it arises from a tissue made of tube-like structures called glandular branched epithelia. The branching structure of PDAC is thought to contribute to its aggressiveness. However, current PDAC models cultured in the lab are spherical. To better mimic PDAC, researchers now present a new model grown from single mouse PDAC cells in a 3D collagen matrix with a mix of specific chemicals. This produced a mass of tissue that organised itself into highly branched structures that replicated the architecture of PDAC in humans, as captured using fluorescence microscopy (pictured). Using this model, the team identified the different stages and characteristics of PDAC development, including changes in cell movements, proteins and molecules. This branching model, therefore, provides a useful replica to investigate the dynamics of PDAC.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.