Key Dates
Mar 18-19, 2023
Sep 20, 2022
Abstract Submission Deadline
Mar  17, 2023
Online Registration Deadline
Mar 18, 2023
On-site Registration Date

Zhikai Tan


In vitro colorectal cancer tissue model using 3D printing


Zhikai Tan


Hunan University


Dr. Zhikai Tan is a professor in School of Biology at Hunan University, he is also the director of Biomedical Research and Testing Center of Hunan University. Professor Tan completed his study at University of Oxford, and his current research fields include biological intelligent manufacturing, translational medicine, biological 3D printing, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and pharmaceuticals. His research has been supported by the key project fund of Hunan Province, NSFC, and other funds. So far, He has published more than 30 SCI papers and 11 patents.



The tumor microenvironment (TME) determines tumor progression and has clinical therapeutic effects. Its basic components include cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and tumor-associated endothelial cells (TEC), both of which constitute tumor matrix and microvascular network. Ability to simulate interactions between cells and extracellular matrix in TME in vitro can help understand cancer growth and evaluate efficiency of therapies.


In this study, we developed an in vitro 3D tumor tissue model that mimics in vivo cell physiological functions using tumor-associated stromal cells. Colorectal cancer cells, CAF and TEC were co-cultured on the 3D printed scaffolds to constitute the extracellular matrix (ECM) that is beneficial to cells for processes including adhesion, stemness, proliferation, and vascularization. We activated normal stromal cells and reprogrammed them into tumor-related stromal cells to construct TME for tumor tissues.


The activated stromal cells overexpressed various tumor-related markers and remodeled the ECM. Furthermore, the metabolic signals and malignant transformation of the in vitro 3D tumor tissue were highly similar to those of the in vivo tumor tissue. 


The 3D tumor tissue exhibited good physiological activity and high drug resistance. This model can be applied to various tumor biology research and development of personalized medicine.

Figure 1. Construction of the in vitro 3D colorectal cancer tissue.