3D tissue matrix scaffold for tumor modeling, biomarker/drug screening and tissue regeneration

Unmet Need: Lack of tissue culture models that resemble native microenvironment

Mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) is comprised of a labyrinth of interconnected architecture that provides mechanical support and optimal tissue microenvironment for cell survival, growth, signal transduction and interactions. The currently available scaffold and planar tissue culture models using synthetic polymers or a single component of ECM do not resemble this native living microenvironment. Therapeutic studies and preclinical applications based on these methods have failed to provide consistent data and acceptable efficacies. In addition, post-degradation toxicity caused by the polymeric scaffolds disrupts cell-to-cell signaling, leading to defects in secretion of biomolecules/enzymes, rejection of scaffold graft, cell death and severe side effects. These factors necessitate a “next-generation” of scaffold system that resembles native ECM for reliable scientific research, drug testing and tissue regeneration studies.

The Technology: Tissue Matrix Scaffold, the Next Generation 3D Tissue Culture

In order to address the above problems, WSU has developed Tissue Matrix Scaffold (TMS), a versatile 3D matrix, which is an intermediate platform between 2D culture models and more complex and expensive in vivo models. The decellularized TMS retains the structural and compositional nature of ECM, making it well suited for both scientific research and clinical applications. Fabricated using a wide variety of animal or human tissues, TMS can prove to be a revolutionary leap towards personalized medicine.


•       Research tools in the lab for the purpose of cell and tissue culturing

•       Drug screening and biomarker studies

•       Tissue regeneration


•       Preserves native ECM proteins for optimal cell growth that mimics the complex tissue environment to produce more clinically relevant data for improved translational outcome

•      Customizable formats in the forms of porous and/or hydrogel scaffolds with desired porosity, shaped and sizes from the same tissue source can be supplied as individual scaffolds or as multi-well panels

•       Allows compartmental co-culture to study interactions between various cell types and to facilitate tissue reconstruction

•    Complements and accommodates protemic, genomic, immunofluorescence and histochemical analyses and offers a superior tool for biomaker and therapeutic screening compared to 2D culture, synthetic scaffold, and other current 3D models

Patent Information:

PCT patent application filed.



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Karin Biggs
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
(509) 335-3553
Reference No: 1678


Weimin Li
Girdhari Rijal

Key Words