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Dozzo A;Chullipalliyalil K;McAuliffe M;O'Driscoll CM;Ryan KB;
Nano-Hydroxyapatite/PLGA Mixed Scaffolds as a Tool for Drug Development and to Study Metastatic Prostate Cancer in the Bone.
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(1) Background: Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro, biorelevant culture models that recapitulate cancer progression can help elucidate physio-pathological disease cues and enhance the screening of more effective therapies. Insufficient research has been conducted to generate in vitro 3D models to replicate the spread of prostate cancer to the bone, a key metastatic site of the disease, and to understand the interplay between the key cell players. In this study, we aim to investigate PLGA and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA)/PLGA mixed scaffolds as a predictive preclinical tool to study metastatic prostate cancer (mPC) in the bone and reduce the gap that exists with traditional 2D cultures. (2) Methods: nHA/PLGA mixed scaffolds were produced by electrospraying, compacting, and foaming PLGA polymer microparticles, +/- nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA), and a salt porogen to produce 3D, porous scaffolds. Physicochemical scaffold characterisation together with an evaluation of osteoblastic (hFOB 1.19) and mPC (PC-3) cell behaviour (RT-qPCR, viability, and differentiation) in mono- and co-culture, was undertaken. (3) Results: The results show that the addition of nHA, particularly at the higher-level impacted scaffolds in terms of mechanical and degradation behaviour. The nHA 4 mg resulted in weaker scaffolds, but cell viability increased. Qualitatively, fluorescent imaging of cultures showed an increase in PC-3 cells compared to osteoblasts despite lower initial PC-3 seeding densities. Osteoblast monocultures, in general, caused an upregulation (or at least equivalent to controls) in gene production, which was highest in plain scaffolds and decreased with increases in nHA. Additionally, the genes were downregulated in PC3 and co-cultures. Further, drug toxicity tests demonstrated a significant effect in 2D and 3D co-cultures. (4) Conclusions: The results demonstrate that culture conditions and environment (2D versus 3D, monoculture versus co-culture) and scaffold composition all impact cell behaviour and model development.
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