(770d) Glioblastoma/Astrocyte Co-Culture on Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Films: A Template for Studying the Role of Astrocytes in Glioblastoma Progression

Stanke, K. M., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kidambi, S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Wilson, C., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Eickman, E., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Khalimonchuk, O., University of Nebraska Lincoln
Over 50% of all brain tumors are Glioblastoma Multiforme tumors (GBMs), with a median survival time of only one year post-diagnosis. These tumors are extremely aggressive, and have a poor prognosis, contributing to the distress surrounding a brain tumor diagnosis. GBMs arise from astrocytes and are characterized by their invasion into surrounding tissues and recruitment of healthy tissues into tumor tissue. Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cell in the brain, primarily functioning to maintain ion homeostasis and modulate energy production through both direct and indirect communication. While recent studies indicate that glial cells in close proximity to the tumor microenvironment undergo alterations in their responses, the underlying mechanisms driving these changes remain largely unknown. Elucidating the particular mechanisms of cell-cell communication between GBMs and astrocytes is key to the development of therapeutic strategies to combat this deadly disease. Current research on cell-cell communication utilizes three methods: conditioned media, transwell chamber co-culture, and random co-culture. However, none of these methods capture the full scope of GBM-astrocyte communication. As such, an accurate and representative in situ model is needed to study this communication. Using layer-by-layer assembly, we have engineered patterned co-cultures to precisely mimic both the physical and chemical signaling found in the brain. This novel platform provides new opportunities for studying the various signaling modalities of GBMs and Astrocytes.