A novel three‑dimensional tumorsphere culture system for the efficient and low‑cost enrichment of cancer stem cells with natural polymers
- Zhen‑Wei Zhu
- Lin Chen
- Jing‑Xian Liu
- Jun‑Wen Huang
- Gang Wu
- Yan‑Fang Zheng
- Kai‑Tai Yao
Published online on: November 1, 2017
Copyright: © Zhu et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered to serve a key role in tumor progression, recurrence and metastasis. Tumorsphere culture is the most important method for enriching CSCs and is widely used in basic research and drug screening. However, the traditional suspension cell culture system has several disadvantages, including low efficiency, high cost and difficult procedure, making it difficult to produce tumorspheres on a large scale. In the present study, two biomaterials, methylcellulose (MC) and gellan gum (GG), were used to construct a novel culture system based on the traditional system. Subsequently, the characteristics of the novel three‑dimensional (3D) culture system were evaluated, the design scheme was optimized, and the morphological and biological features of the tumorspheres cultured in this 3D system were compared with the traditional system. The results revealed that the tumorspheres cultured in the novel 3D system presented a higher seeding density and improved morphology, while maintaining stem‑like properties. This evidence suggests that a simple, efficient and low‑cost culture system that produces tumorspheres on a large scale was successfully constructed, which can be widely used in various aspects of stem cell research.