Engineering 3D living brain tumour equivalents as macroscopic test-systems for the development of optical imaging and sensing applications (Conference Presentation)

Annemarie Nadort, Mahsa Vaezzadeh, Sameera Iqbal, Mina Ghanimi Fard, Dmitry Polikarpov, Shivani Sachdev, Lindsay Parker, Yi Qian, Andrew Davidson, Nicolle Packer, Ewa Goldys, Anna Guller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Successful clinical translation of optical techniques and therapies that advance the detection and treatment of high-grade brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), needs controlled, ethical and practical GBM models that accurately represent the biological reality. However, the available test-beds are not biologically accurate (artificial phantoms); are hindered by complex physiology and ethical concerns (animal models); or involve practical complexity due to rapid biological degradation of the samples ex vivo (surgical biopsies). Here, we present the development and validation of an in vitro, biologically accurate, 3-dimensional living GBM tumour model produced by tissue engineering techniques. Our 3D living equivalents of GBM tumour tissue are in the millimeter size range, consist of brain-specific extracellular matrix and living cells, and exhibit the relevant (often unfavorable) tissue optical properties such as scattering and tissue auto-fluorescence. The model also reproduces essential challenges in translational neurophotonics that are due to uneven tissue surface topography, variation in structural, optical and biochemical properties of matrix, heterogeneous cellular phenotypes and uneven distribution of exogenous contrast and therapeutic agents. We will show results of depth-resolved and wide-field imaging of the living GBM-equivalents in laboratory microscopic and theatre-based imaging systems under normal and fluorescence-guided surgery conditions using the typical 5-ALA to fluorescent PpIX conversion by GBM cells, in addition to 3D mapping of exogenous contrast agents such as fluorescent cell viability markers. These results illustrate the versatility of our 3D-engineered GBM model as macroscopic test-bed for the development of optical tools to improve the detection and treatment of brain cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical and Translational Neurophotonics 2019
EditorsSteen J. Madsen, Victor X. D. Yang, Nitish V. Thakor
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
ISBN (Electronic)9781510623712
ISBN (Print)9781510623705
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
EventClinical and Translational Neurophotonics 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2 Feb 20193 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422
ISSN (Electronic)2410-9045


ConferenceClinical and Translational Neurophotonics 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


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