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In what could be a path-breaking discovery in the field of cancer treatment research, scientists have made a tumour-like lump of cancer cells using 3D printing technology.
This lump bores a greater resemblance to natural cancer than do the two-dimensional cultured cells grown in a lab dish, according to researchers.
Scientist say, the technology could be used to study the development, invasion, metastasis and treatment of cancer using specific cancer cells from patients.
It can also be used to test the efficacy and safety of new cancer treatment therapies and new cancer drugs.
To build the tumour-like structure, the researchers mixed gelatin, fibrous proteins and cervical cancer cells, then fed the resulting mixture into a 3D cell printer they had developed.
The printer then produced a grid structure, 10 millimetres in width and length, and 2 millimetres in height.
That structure resembles the fibrous proteins that make up the extra-cellular matrix of a tumour, the researchers said.
The cells were then allowed to grow, and after five days, the growth took on a spherical shape. The spheres continued to grow for three more days. Researchers hope to benefit cancer patients through their discovery.