3D porous chitosan-alginate scaffold stiffness promotes differential responses in prostate cancer cell lines

Kailei Xu, K. Ganapathy, Thomas Andl, Zi Wang, John A. Copland, R. Chakrabarti, Stephen J. Florczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading cause of death for men worldwide. Most PCa patients die from metastasis and bone is the most common metastatic site. Three dimensional (3D) porous chitosan-alginate (CA) scaffolds were developed for bone tissue engineering and demonstrated for culture of cancer cells and enrichment of cancer stem cells. However, only a single scaffold composition was studied. Three compositions of 3D porous CA scaffolds (2, 4, and 6 wt%) were used to investigate the effect of scaffold stiffness on PCa cell response with PC-3, C4-2B, and 22Rv1 cell lines. The PC-3 cells formed cell clusters while the C4-2B and 22Rv1 cells formed multicellular spheroids. The three cell lines demonstrated stiffness independent cell growth and expressed phenotypic PCa biomarkers. The osteoblastic PCa lines C4-2B and 22Rv1 mineralized in basal media, while the osteolytic PC-3 line did not, demonstrating that CA scaffold cultures revealed differences in PCa phenotypes. The CA scaffolds are a 3D culture platform that supports PCa growth and phenotypic expression with adjustable scaffold stiffness to mimic stages of metastatic progression. Further investigation of the scaffolds for co-culture of PCa cells with fibroblasts and primary PCa cell culture should be conducted to develop a platform for screening chemotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119311
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Mechanotransduction
  • Mineralization
  • Polyelectrolyte complex
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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