Tumour microenvironment 3D-modelling: simplicity to complexity and back again

Edward P Carter, Reza Roozitalab, Shayin V Gibson, Richard P Grose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (SciVal)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Tumours are surrounded by a host of noncancerous cells that fulfil both supportive and suppressive roles within the tumour microenvironment (TME). The drive to understand the biology behind each of these components has led to a rapid expansion in the number and use of 3D in vitro models, as researchers find ways to incorporate multiple cell types into physiomimetic configurations. The use and increasing complexity of these models does however demand many considerations. In this review we discuss approaches adopted to recapitulate complex tumour biology in tractable 3D models. We consider how these cell types can be sourced and combined and examine methods for the deconvolution of complex multicellular models into manageable and informative outputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1046
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in cancer
Issue number11
Early online date24 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms/pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment


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