3D Imaging of cancer cells within the Mimetix scaffold

MCF7, Breast Cancer Cells

The Mimetix fibres are labelled with Rhodamine 6G. The thickness of Mimetix scaffold allows for having a 3D environment while maintaining a certain translucence, thus allowing for easy and robust imaging. This study has investigated the localisation depth of MCF7 breast cancer cells in the Mimetix scaffold after 4 days of culture (nuclei stained with TO-PRO-3, blue).

The video below shows a Z-stack (slices through the scaffold from the top to the bottom at 2 μm steps), 4 days after seeding. At day 1 most cells are located with the top 1/3 of the scaffold, whereas they occupy the top 2/3 of the scaffold with few cells observed even deeper at day 4.

HepG2 Liver cancer Cell

Images taken using a Nikon Eclispe C1 confocal microscope. HepG2 liver cells were grown for 21 days in the Mimetix scaffold. Cells are stained with DAPI and actin; fibres are electrospun together with Rhodamine 6G (a and b).

Cancer cells form a 3D network inside the scaffold (c), use the fibres to support themselves (d) and populate the entire scaffold (e)

HepG2 cells grown into clusters inside the Mimetix scaffold

 HepG2 liver cells were grown for up to 21 days in the Mimetix scaffold. Nuclei are stained with DAPI and actin filaments with Phalloidin.

The images above were taken by Serena Giusti from Ahluwalia group, University of Pisa.