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Title: Interactions between cancer cells and inorganic materials
Author: Hickman, G. J.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2013
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Cancer is a complex multi-faceted disease that poses a significant threat to world health. However, as our understanding of the disease improves so does the complexity of this threat. One aspect of complexity is tumour heterogeneity, subpopulations of which have been identified as being fundamental to the understanding the formation, progression and treatment of the disease. Cancer stem cells and cells undergoing epithelial to mesenchymal transition are two such subpopulations. However, the study of these populations is complicated by difficulties in the isolation and sustainment of these cell types in vitro due to the scarcity and transience of their nature. The importance of the cells local environment or ‘niche’ in driving cell responses has been made increasingly apparent in recent years, specifically the role of the surfaces to which the cell is in contact. Many cellular processes, even the survival of the cell itself, have been shown to be dependent on cues taken from the surface and the biological entities (proteins etc.) which can interact with surfaces independently of the cell. This understanding opens the possibility that surface chemistry can be applied to the precise control of cells for specific applications. Using this premise, this work developed a range of surface materials based around silica which are both compatible with in vitro culture and capable of presenting a range of surface chemistries (hydroxyl, methyl. phenyl, amino) to which the cell response in terms of proliferation, adhesion, motility and morphology was measured. Specific surfaces determined from these assays where then examined to explore the influence of surface chemistry on the sub-populations of the human prostate cell line OPCT1. The data obtained shows that silica materials, including those of extreme properties (such as super-hydrophilicity) can support the adhesion and growth of tumour cell lines, likely due to enhanced protein adsorption. Distinct surface chemistries were found to influence the adhesion and proliferation of these cell lines differently. The surfaces were also found to influence the adsorption of specific proteins such as fibronectin. In response to cell selection, surfaces (3-aminopropyl and a glass substrate) were identified which could selectively enrich epithelial and mesenchymal populations from co-culture, fulfilling the initial aims of the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available