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Title: Mechanical compression regulates tumor spheroid invasion into a 3D collagen matrix

Uncontrolled growth of tumor cells in confined spaces leads to the accumulation of compressive stress within the tumor. Although the effects of tension within 3D extracellular matrices (ECMs) on tumor growth and invasion are well established, the role of compression in tumor mechanics and invasion is largely unexplored. In this study, we modified a Transwell assay such that it provides constant compressive loads to spheroids embedded within a collagen matrix. We used microscopic imaging to follow the single cell dynamics of the cells within the spheroids, as well as invasion into the 3D ECMs. Our experimental results showed that malignant breast tumor (MDA-MB-231) and non-tumorigenic epithelial (MCF10A) spheroids responded differently to a constant compression. Cells within the malignant spheroids became more motile within the spheroids and invaded more into the ECM under compression; whereas cells within non-tumorigenic MCF10A spheroids became less motile within the spheroids and did not display apparent detachment from the spheroids under compression. These findings suggest that compression may play differential roles in healthy and pathogenic epithelial tissues and highlight the importance of tumor mechanics and invasion.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
IOP Publishing
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Physical Biology
Medium: X Size: Article No. 036003
["Article No. 036003"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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