Embedded Bioprinting of Breast Tumor Cells and Organoids Using Low-Concentration Collagen-Based Bioinks

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2023 Volume 12, Issue 26, Article 2300905

Bioinks for 3D bioprinting of tumor models should not only meet printability requirements but also accurately maintain and support phenotypes of tumor surrounding cells to recapitulate key tumor hallmarks. Collagen is a major extracellular matrix protein for solid tumors, but low viscosity of collagen solution has made 3D bioprinted cancer models challenging. This work produces embedded, bioprinted breast cancer cells and tumor organoid models using low-concentration collagen I based bioinks. The biocompatible and physically crosslinked silk fibroin hydrogel is used to generate the support bath for the embedded 3D printing. The composition of the collagen I based bioink is optimized with a thermoresponsive hyaluronic acid-based polymer to maintain the phenotypes of both the noninvasive epithelial and invasive breast cancer cells, as well as cancer-associated fibroblasts. Mouse breast tumor organoids are bioprinted using optimized collagen bioink to mimic in vivo tumor morphology. A vascularized tumor model is also created using a similar strategy, with significantly enhanced vasculature formation under hypoxia. This study shows the great potential of embedded bioprinted breast tumor models utilizing a low-concentration collagen-based bioink for advancing the understanding of tumor cell biology and facilitating drug discovery research.