Electrospinning Parameters Selection to Manufacture Polycaprolactone Scaffolds for Three-dimensional Breast Cancer Cell Culture and Enrichment

Only a small cell population of a breast tumour presents stem cell characteristics, thus so-called breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). BCSCs are tumour-initiating cells and chemoresistant and they can grow in non-adherent conditions as mammospheres. Study of BCSCs is a challenge due to their low representation and the inability to propagate them without inducing differentiation. Previous studies have demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models such as scaffolds enhance the BCSCs population. In this project, scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning technology. Specific values of voltage and flow rate were fixed to electrospun 7.5 and 15% poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) solutions according to process stability. Both scaffolds were seeded with MCF-7 breast cancer cells and 7.5% meshes displayed lower cell proliferation compared with 15% scaffolds. Cells cultured in both scaffolds presented a significant Mammosphere Forming Index (MFI) increase, thus indicating a BCSCs enrichment. Results show that three-dimensional cell culture with electrospun 15% PCL scaffolds could be useful to expand BCSCs population facilitating the future development of new therapeutic strategies against this tumour subpopulation ​
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