Engineered microtissues for the bystander therapy against cancer

Barbara Blanco-Fernandez, Irene Cano-Torres, Cristina Garrido, Gerard Rubi-Sans, Lourdes Sanchez-Cid, Marta Guerra-Rebollo, Nuria Rubio, Jeronimo Blanco, Soledad Perez-Amodio, Miguel A. Mateos-Timoneda, Elisabeth Engel

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Thymidine kinase expressing human adipose mesenchymal stem cells (TK-hAMSCs) in combination with ganciclovir (GCV) are an effective platform for antitumor bystander therapy in mice models. However, this strategy requires multiple TK-hAMSCs administrations and a substantial number of cells. Therefore, for clinical translation, it is necessary to find a biocompatible scaffold providing TK-hAMSCs retention in the implantation site against their rapid wash-out. We have developed a microtissue (MT) composed by TKhAMSCs and a scaffold made of polylactic acid microparticles and cell-derived extracellular matrix deposited by hAMSCs. The efficacy of these MTs as vehicles for TK-hAMSCs/GCV bystander therapy was evaluated in a rodent model of human prostate cancer. Subcutaneously implanted MTs were integrated in the surrounding tissue, allowing neovascularization and maintenance of TK-hAMSCs viability. Furthermore, MTs implanted beside tumors allowed TK-hAMSCs migration towards tumor cells and, after GCV administration, inhibited tumor growth. These results indicate that TK-hAMSCs-MTs are promising cell reservoirs for clinical use of therapeutic MSCs in bystander therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111854
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Adipose mesenchymal stem cells
  • Bioluminescence
  • Bystander therapy
  • Cancer
  • Self-assembled cell-based microtissues


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineered microtissues for the bystander therapy against cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this