Defined by its potential for self-renewal, differentiation and tumorigenicity, cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered responsible for drug resistance and relapse. To understand the behavior of CSC, the effects of the microenvironment in each tissue are a matter of great concerns for scientists in cancer biology. However, there are many complicated obstacles in the mimicking the microenvi-ronment of CSCs even with current advanced technology. In this context, novel biomaterials have widely been assessed as in vitro platforms for their ability to mimic cancer microenvironment. These efforts should be successful to identify and characterize various CSCs specific in each type of cancer. Therefore, extracellular matrix scaffolds made of biomaterial will modulate the interactions and facilitate the investigation of CSC associated with biological phenomena simplifying the complexity of the microenvironment. In this review, we summarize latest advances in biomaterial scaffolds, which are exploited to mimic CSC microenvironment, and their chemical and biological requirements with discussion. The discussion includes the possible effects on both cells in tumors and microenvironment to propose what the critical factors are in controlling the CSC microenvironment focusing the future investigation. Our insights on their availability in drug screening will also follow the discussion.
- Biomaterial scaffolds
- Cancer stem cells
- Drug screening
- Tumor microenvironment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology