Validation of a novel perfusion bioreactor system in cancer research

Jasmina J, Stojkovska, Jovana Zvicer, Milena Milivojevic, Isidora Petrovic, Milena Stevanovic, Bojana Obradovic


Development of drugs is a complex, time- and cost-consuming process due to the lack of standardized and reliable characterization techniques and models. Traditionally, drug screening is based on in vitro analysis using two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures followed by in vivo animal testing. Unfortunately, application of the obtained results to humans in about 90 % of cases fails. Therefore, it is important to develop and improve cell-based systems that can mimic the in vivo- like conditions to provide more reliable results. In this paper, we present development and validation of a novel user-friendly perfusion bioreactor system for single use aimed for cancer research, drug screening, anti-cancer drug response studies, biomaterial characterization and tissue engineering. Simple design of the perfusion bioreactor provides direct medium flow at physiological velocities (100–250 µm s-1) through samples of different sizes and shapes. Biocompatibility of the bioreactor was confirmed in short term cultivation studies of cervical carcinoma SiHa cells immobilized in alginate microfibers under continuous medium flow. The results have shown preserved cell viability indicating that the perfusion bioreactor in conjunction with alginate hydrogels as cell carriers could be potentially used as a tool for controlled anti-cancer drug screening in a 3D environment.


3D culture; biomimetic bioreactor; tumor model; alginate microfibers

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