The interface stiffness and topographic feature dictate interfacial invasiveness of cancer spheroids

Published: 28 December 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/4v625rp3cj.1
Bin-Hsu Mao,
Thi Kim Mai Nguyen,
Ming-Jer Tang,
Roger Kamm,


During cancer metastasis, tumor cells likely navigate, in a collective manner, discrete tissue spaces comprising inherently heterogeneous ECM microstructures where interfaces may be frequently encountered. Studies have shown that cell migration modes can be determined by adaptation to mechanical/topographic cues from interfacial microenvironments. However, less attention has been paid to exploring the impact of interfacial mechnochemical attributes on invasive and metastatic behaviors of tumor aggregates. Here, we excogitated a collagen matrix-solid substrate interface platform to investigate the afore-stated interesting issue. Our data revealed that stiffer interfaces stimulated spheroid outgrowth by motivating detachment of single cells and boosting their motility and velocity. However, stronger interfacial adhesive strength between matrix and substrate led to the opposite outcomes. Besides, this interfacial parameter also affected the morphological switch between migration modes of the detached cells and their directionality. Mechanistically, myosin II-mediated cell contraction, compared to MMPs-driven collagen degradation, was shown to play a more crucial role in the invasive outgrowth of tumor spheroids in interfacial microenvironments. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of heterogeneous interfaces in addressing and combating cancer metastasis. Cell line: MDA-MB-231 Z: microscope plane T: Time point (T1 to T144, each time point 10 minutes in 24 hours) The experiment protocol can be found in our paper:



National Cheng Kung University


Biomedical Engineering