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Tissue-engineered 3D model for human bone tumor analysis


Project TitleTissue-engineered 3D model for human bone tumor analysis
Track CodeP30889
Short DescriptionNone
Posted DateAug 17, 2017

IR #



This technology is a tissue-engineered model of the tumor microenvironment that enables the study of exosome release and therapeutic response.

Unmet Need: Model of tumor exosome release

As tumors grow, the cancerous cells release vesicles called exosomes that transfer a variety of bioactive molecules to other cells, facilitating tumor growth and invasion. Understanding the identity and conditions surrounding exosomal release is critical for developing robust chemotherapy. However, there are currently no in vitro tumor models for the study of exosomes that accurately capture in vivo conditions. As such, there is a need for a three-dimensional model of the tumor microenvironment that accurately reproduces exosome release.

The Technology: 3D cell and scaffold matrix recapitulates tumor and exosomes properties

This technology is a tissue-engineered model composed of an engineered human bone scaffold, containing osteoblasts and osteoclasts, that is further populated by Ewing’s sarcoma (ES) tumor cells. This technology recapitulates the specific three-dimensional architecture, cell-matrix composition, and stiffness of the ES tumor microenvironment. These parameters play a critical role in modulating the size and biochemical composition of exosomes released by cells, and can be adjusted to result in exosomes that mimic those secreted by tumors in vivo. By providing an in vitro model of the ES tumor microenvironment and exosome release, this technology provides a research tool for the study of exosome release and a platform for drug development.

A prototype of this technology has been developed using ES cells that releases exosomes with size and composition similar to those found in cancer patient blood samples.

Lead Inventors:

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D.

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (WO/2017/112919)

Potential Applications

  • Study of the ES tumor microenvironment

  • Controllable in vitro study of tumor exosomes

  • Study of tumor and exosome interaction with surrounding cells and tissues through co-culture experiments

  • Model for drug development

  • Scaffold can be seeded with a patient’s own tumor cells for personalized medicine

  • Method can be expanded to a wide range of human tumors


  • Recapitulates the tumor 3D microenvironment

  • Emulates native exosome secretion

  • Allows for study of tumor interaction with surrounding tissues

  • In vitro model enables higher throughput experiments



Beth Kauderer
Columbia Technology Ventures
Tel: (212) 854-8444


Other Information

Principal Investigator