Tissue engineering the cancer microenvironment—challenges and opportunities

Vassilis Papalazarou, Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, Laura M. Machesky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanosensing is increasingly recognised as important for tumour progression. Tumours become stiff and the forces that normally balance in the healthy organism break down and become imbalanced, leading to increases in migration, invasion and metastatic dissemination. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of how extracellular matrix properties, such as stiffness, viscoelasticity and architecture control cell behaviour. In addition, we discuss how the tumour microenvironment can be modelled in vitro, capturing these mechanical aspects, to better understand and develop therapies against tumour spread. We argue that by gaining a better understanding of the microenvironment and the mechanical forces that govern tumour dynamics, we can make advances in combatting cancer dormancy, recurrence and metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1695-1711
Number of pages17
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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