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  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Feb 21, 2019

3D-Bioprinted Mini-Brain: A New Model To Study Brain Tumors

Study in a Sentence: Scientists at the University of Twente in the Netherlands created a 3D-bioprinted mini model of the brain consisting of glioblastoma cells, which are the site of a very aggressive type of brain tumor, to study the interactions between immune cells and to test drugs that target this interaction.

Healthy for Humans: This newly developed 3D model allows researchers to study the tumor cell characteristics and how they interact with human immune cells, which help the tumor rather than attacking it. Researchers reported this model shows results that are aligned with actual patient data, demonstrating it to be far more beneficial than existing lab models. 

Redefining Research: This 3D-bioprinted model provided evidence for how therapeutics can inhibit the interaction between tumor cells resulting in reduced tumor growth and increased susceptibility to chemotherapy. Scientists anticipate that this tumor model can help improve the understanding of tumor biology and aid in the testing of novel cancer treatments. The promising results of this model show that it can likely be used to study other types of tumors as well and will reduce the number of animals that are used in tumor research. 


Heinrich MA, Bansal R, Lammers T, Zhang YS, Schiffelers RM, Prakash J. 3D-Bioprinted mini-brain: A glioblastoma model to study cellular interactions and therapeutics. Advanced Materials. 2019. 

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