Cancer cells derived from human tumor biopsies are often difficult to maintain in culture. For this reason, cancer research efforts are ongoing to optimize in vitro culture conditions suitable to support new drug development. Recently, a group of scientists at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., developed a versatile in vitro perfusion culture device to study human multiple myeloma (a cancer of plasma cells). This allows the scientists to reproduce multiple myeloma cells’ microenvironment (what goes on around the cells) by combining micro-perfusion and a tissue pregrown from osteoblasts (the major cellular component of bone). This new device might be useful to evaluate anti-cancer drug responses without using animal models.
- Zhang W, Gu Y, Hao Y, et al. Well plate-based perfusion culture device for tissue and tumor microenvironment replication. Lab Chip. 2015 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]