Current research is focusing on the study of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM), cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton in cancer progression and metastasis. In an attempt to better approximate the real tumor setting and microenvironment, we have developed 3-dimensional (3D) collagen-based culture systems with tunable stiffness to study the molecular mechanism of metastasis in vitro in cancer cells of different invasiveness. This approach takes also into account the cell-ECM interactions in 3D as well as the mechanical forces being exerted on the cells from the ECM. The ultimate goal would be the determination of the molecular mechanism driving cancer cell metastasis in relation to ECM stiffness and the identification of novel potential metastasis biomarkers or therapeutic taregts.
Spheroid invasion assays, Transwell invasion assay, Migration assays, Wound healing assays, Cell adhesion assays, Cell spreading assays, Culture of breast cancer cells in 3D, qPCR, Western Blotting, Immonoprecipitation, Cell proliferation assays, Immunohistochemistry, Cell staining
3D in vitro model systems