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Title: Electron microscopy imaging and mechanical characterization of T47D multicellular tumor spheroids–Older spheroids reduce interstitial space and become stiffer
Multicellular cancer spheroids are an in vitro tissue model that mimics the three-dimensional microenvironment. As spheroids grow, they develop the gradients of oxygen, nutrients, and catabolites, affecting crucial tumor characteristics such as proliferation and treatment responses. The measurement of spheroid stiffness provides a quantitative measure to evaluate such structural changes over time. In this report, we measured the stiffness of size-matched day 5 and day 20 tumor spheroids using a custom-built microscale force sensor and conducted transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging to compare the internal structures. We found that older spheroids reduce interstitial spaces in the core region and became significantly stiffer. The measured elastic moduli were 260±100 and 680±150 Pa, for day 5 and day 20 spheroids, respectively. The day 20 spheroids showed an optically dark region in the center. Analyzing the high-resolution TEM images of spheroid middle sections across the diameter showed that the cells in the inner region of the day 20 spheroids are significantly larger and more closely packed than those in the outer regions. On the other hand, the day 5 spheroids did not show a significant difference between the inner and outer regions. The observed reduction of the interstitial space may be one factor that contributes to stiffer older spheroids.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1942518 1809047 2223957
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Weihs, Daphne
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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