Tumor growth suppression induced by biomimetic silk fibroin hydrogels

Le-Ping Yan, Joana Silva-Correia, Viviana P. Ribeiro, Vera Miranda-Goncąlves, Cristina Correia, Alain Da Silva Morais, Rui A. Sousa, Rui M. Reis, Ana L. Oliveira, Joaquim M. Oliveira*, Rui L. Reis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Protein-based hydrogels with distinct conformations which enable encapsulation or differentiation of cells are of great interest in 3D cancer research models. Conformational changes may cause macroscopic shifts in the hydrogels, allowing for its use as biosensors and drug carriers. In depth knowledge on how 3D conformational changes in proteins may affect cell fate and tumor formation is required. Thus, this study reports an enzymatically crosslinked silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel system that can undergo intrinsic conformation changes from random coil to β-sheet conformation. In random coil status, the SF hydrogels are transparent, elastic, and present ionic strength and pH stimuli-responses. The random coil hydrogels become β-sheet conformation after 10 days in vitro incubation and 14 days in vivo subcutaneous implantation in rat. When encapsulated with ATDC-5 cells, the random coil SF hydrogel promotes cell survival up to 7 days, whereas the subsequent β-sheet transition induces cell apoptosis in vitro. HeLa cells are further incorporated in SF hydrogels and the constructs are investigated in vitro and in an in vivo chick chorioallantoic membrane model for tumor formation. In vivo, Angiogenesis and tumor formation are suppressed in SF hydrogels. Therefore, these hydrogels provide new insights for cancer research and uses of biomaterials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31037
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016

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