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Biomaterial-based platforms for tumour tissue engineering

Curvello, Rodrigo; Kast, Verena; Ordóñez-Morán, Paloma; Mata, Alvaro; Loessner, Daniela

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Rodrigo Curvello

Verena Kast

Daniela Loessner


Tissue engineering has produced innovative tools for cancer research. 3D cancer models based on molecularly designed biomaterials aim to harness the dimensionality and biomechanical and biochemical properties of tumour tissues. However, to date, despite the critical role that the extracellular matrix plays in cancer, only a minority of 3D cancer models are built on biomaterial-based matrices. Major reasons for avoiding this critical design feature are the difficulty in recreating the inherent complexity of the tumour microenvironment and the limited availability of practical analytical and validation techniques. Recent advances emerging at the interface of supramolecular chemistry, materials science and tumour biology are generating new approaches to overcome these boundaries and enable the design of physiologically relevant 3D models. Here, we discuss how these 3D systems are applied to deconstruct and engineer the tumour microenvironment, opening opportunities to model primary tumours, metastasis and responses to anticancer treatment.


Curvello, R., Kast, V., Ordóñez-Morán, P., Mata, A., & Loessner, D. (2023). Biomaterial-based platforms for tumour tissue engineering. Nature Reviews Materials, 8, 314–330.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 14, 2023
Publication Date 2023-05
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 15, 2023
Journal Nature Reviews Materials
Print ISSN 2058-8437
Electronic ISSN 2058-8437
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Pages 314–330
Keywords tissue engineering, biomaterials, tumor biology, 3D cancer models, tumor microenvironment, extracellular matrix
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