The ECM a researcher chooses has a significant effect on cancer cell proliferation, initiation, invasion, and metastasis, and it alters how the tumor model responds to drug therapy. Hydrogel-based ECMs offer a variety of properties that allow researchers to scaffold MCTS and improve their similarity to in vivo tumors. According to a study published in Science Advances, Corning® Matrigel® matrix is the gold standard scaffold for MCT growth. It's mostly made up of laminin, type IV collagen, and entactin, and it also features growth factors and other constituents, such as proteoglycans.
3D collagen hydrogels are another commonly used ECM. No surprise there: Collagen is the most abundant fibrous protein found in mammals' ECMs, and it plays a critical role in tumor growth and metastasis because it promotes cell adhesion and migration. Collagen type I hydrogels have been used to grow MCTS from osteosarcomas, breast cancer cells, human colorectal cancer cells, prostate cancer cell lines, and primary cancer cells from colorectal cancer patients, according to the Science Advances study.