All Publications

  • Mimicking brain tumor-vasculature microanatomical architecture via co-culture of brain tumor and endothelial cells in 3D hydrogels BIOMATERIALS Wang, C., Li, J., Sinha, S., Peterson, A., Grant, G. A., Yang, F. 2019; 202: 35–44
  • Tissue-engineered 3D Models for Elucidating Primary and Metastatic Bone Cancer Progression. Acta biomaterialia González Díaz, E. C., Sinha, S., Avedian, R. S., Yang, F. 2019


    Malignant bone tumors are aggressive neoplasms which arise from bone tissue or as a result of metastasis. The most prevalent types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and lung cancer, all preferentially metastasize to bone, yet the role of the bone niche in promoting cancer progression remains poorly understood. Tissue engineering has the potential to bridge this knowledge gap by providing 3D in vitro systems that can be specifically designed to mimic key properties of the bone niche in a more physiologically relevant context than standard 2D culture. Elucidating the crucial components of the bone niche that recruit metastatic cells, support tumor growth, and promote cancer-induced destruction of bone tissue would support efforts for preventing and treating these devastating malignancies. In this review, we summarize recent efforts focused on developing in vitro 3D models of primary bone cancer and bone metastasis using tissue engineering approaches. Such 3D in vitro models can enable the identification of effective therapeutic targets and facilitate high-throughput drug screening to effectively treat bone cancers. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Biomaterials-based 3D culture have been traditionally used for tissue regeneration. Recent research harnessed biomaterials to create 3D in vitro cancer models, with demonstrated advantages over conventional 2D culture in recapitulating tumor progression and drug response in vivo. However, previous work has been largely limited to modeling soft tissue cancer, such as breast cancer and brain cancer. Unlike soft tissues, bone is characterized with high stiffness and mineral content. Primary bone cancer affects mostly children with poor treatment outcomes, and bone is the most common site of cancer metastasis. Here we summarize emerging efforts on engineering 3D bone cancer models using tissue engineering approaches, and future directions needed to further advance this relatively new research area.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.08.020

    View details for PubMedID 31419564

  • Co-coating of receptor-targeted drug nanocarriers with anti-phagocytic moieties enhances specific tissue uptake versus non-specific phagocytic clearance BIOMATERIALS Kim, J., Sinha, S., Solomon, M., Perez-Herrero, E., Hsu, J., Tsinas, Z., Muro, S. 2017; 147: 14–25


    Nanocarriers (NCs) help improve the performance of therapeutics, but their removal by phagocytes in the liver, spleen, tissues, etc. diminishes this potential. Although NC functionalization with polyethylene glycol (PEG) lowers interaction with phagocytes, it also reduces interactions with tissue cells. Coating NCs with CD47, a protein expressed by body cells to avoid phagocytic removal, offers an alternative. Previous studies showed that coating CD47 on non-targeted NCs reduces phagocytosis, but whether this alters binding and endocytosis of actively-targeted NCs remains unknown. To evaluate this, we used polymer NCs targeted to ICAM-1, a receptor overexpressed in many diseases. Co-coating of CD47 on anti-ICAM NCs reduced macrophage phagocytosis by ∼50% for up to 24 h, while increasing endothelial-cell targeting by ∼87% over control anti-ICAM/IgG NCs. Anti-ICAM/CD47 NCs were endocytosed via the CAM-mediated pathway with efficiency similar (0.99-fold) to anti-ICAM/IgG NCs. Comparable outcomes were observed for NCs targeted to PECAM-1 or transferrin receptor, suggesting broad applicability. When injected in mice, anti-ICAM/CD47 NCs reduced liver and spleen uptake by ∼30-50% and increased lung targeting by ∼2-fold (∼10-fold over IgG NCs). Therefore, co-coating NCs with CD47 and targeting moieties reduces macrophage phagocytosis and improves targeted uptake. This strategy may significantly improve the efficacy of targeted drug NCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.08.045

    View details for Web of Science ID 000413609700002

    View details for PubMedID 28923682

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5667353

  • Investigating aging effects for porous silicon energetic materials COMBUSTION AND FLAME Sinha, S., Piekiel, N. W., Smith, G. L., Morris, C. J. 2017; 181: 164–71