In this study, we proposed an in vitro tumor model to simulate the mechanical microenvironment and investigate the effect of compressive stress on the invasion process of malignant tumors. It has been pointed out that the biomechanical environment, as well as the biochemical environment, could affect the transformation of cancer cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. We hypothesized that the solid stress caused by the exclusion of surrounding tissue could transform tumor cells from noninvasive to invasive phenotypes. Colorectal cell spheroids were embedded and cultured in agarose gels of varying concentrations to simulate the earliest stages of tumor formation and invasion. The spheroids embedded in gels at higher concentrations showed peculiar growth after 72 h of culture, and the external compressive loading imposed on them caused peculiar growth even in the gels at lower concentrations. In conclusion, the mechanical microenvironment caused the transformation of tumor cell phenotypes, promoting the growth and invasion of tumor cell spheroids.
- colorectal cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry