A parallelized, perfused 3D triculture model of leukemia for in vitro drug testing of chemotherapeutics

  • chair:

    Zippel, S. / Dilger, N. / Chatterjee, C. / Raic, A. / Brenner-Weiß, G. / Schadzek, P. / Rapp, B. E. / Lee-Thedieck, C. (2022)

  • place:

    Biofabrication, 2022, 14, 3, 14 035011

  • Date: Mai 2022
  • Abstract

    Leukemia patients undergo chemotherapy to combat the leukemic cells (LCs) in the bone marrow. During therapy not only the LCs, but also the blood-producing hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) may be destroyed. Chemotherapeutics targeting only the LCs are urgently needed to overcome this problem and minimize life-threatening side-effects. Predictive in vitro drug testing systems allowing simultaneous comparison of various experimental settings would enhance the efficiency of drug development. Here, we present a three-dimensional (3D) human leukemic bone marrow model perfused using a magnetic, parallelized culture system to ensure media exchange. Chemotherapeutic treatment of the acute myeloid leukemia cell line KG-1a in 3D magnetic hydrogels seeded with mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) revealed a greater resistance of KG-1a compared to 2D culture. In 3D tricultures with HSPCs, MSCs and KG-1a, imitating leukemic bone marrow, HSPC proliferation decreased while KG-1a cells remained unaffected post treatment. Non-invasive metabolic profiling enabled continuous monitoring of the system. Our results highlight the importance of using biomimetic 3D platforms with proper media exchange and co-cultures for creating in vivo-like conditions to enable in vitro drug testing. This system is a step towards drug testing in biomimetic, parallelized in vitro approaches, facilitating the discovery of new anti-leukemic drugs.