Biomater Adv. 2022 Apr;135:212749. doi: 10.1016/j.bioadv.2022.212749. Epub 2022 Mar 17.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy in which the patient’s drug resistance is one of the main clinical problems. As 2D cultures do not recapitulate the cellular microenvironment, which has a key role in drug resistance, there is an urgent need for better biomimetic models. Here, a novel 3D platform is used to model MM. The semi-solid culture consists of a dynamic suspension of microspheres and MM cells, termed as microgel. Microspheres are synthesized with acrylic polymers of different sizes, compositions, and functionalities (fibronectin or hyaluronic acid). Optimal conditions for the platform in terms of agitation speed and microsphere size have been determined. With these parameters the system allows good proliferation of the MM cell lines RPMI8226, U226, and MM1.S. Interestingly, when used for drug resistance studies, culture of the three MM cell lines in microgels showed close agreement in revealing the role of acrylic acid in resistance to anti-MM drugs such as dexamethasone and bortezomib. This work presents a unique platform for the in vitro modeling of non-solid tumors since it allows keeping non-adherent cells in suspension conditions but in a 3D context that can be easily tuned with different functionalizations.

PMID:35929221 | DOI:10.1016/j.bioadv.2022.212749