Engineering of biomaterials for tumor modeling

S. R. Choi, Y. Yang, K. Y. Huang, H. J. Kong, M. J. Flick, B. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Development of biomaterials mimicking tumor and its microenvironment has recently emerged for the use of drug discovery, precision medicine, and cancer biology. These biomimetic models have developed by reconstituting tumor and stroma cells within the 3D extracellular matrix. The models are recently extended to recapitulate the in vivo tumor microenvironment, including biological, chemical, and mechanical conditions tailored for specific cancer type and its microenvironment. In spite of the recent emergence of various innovative engineered tumor models, many of these models are still early stage to be adapted for cancer research. In this article, we review the current status of biomaterials engineering for tumor models considering three main aspects—cellular engineering, matrix engineering, and engineering for microenvironmental conditions. Considering cancer-specific variability in these aspects, our discussion is focused on pancreatic cancer, specifically pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In addition, we further discussed the current challenges and future opportunities to create reliable and relevant tumor models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100117
JournalMaterials Today Advances
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Biomaterials
  • Cancer cells
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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