Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Mark A. Decoster


Three-dimensional (3D) cell spheroid model has been long considered a better model to mimic in vivo physiology compared to two-dimensional (2D) cell culture model. Traditional 2D cell models provide a simple, convenient and quick technique for drug screening but fail to simulate the complexity and heterogeneity of cells in the in vivo environment. The last few decades have remarked substantial progress toward the advancement of three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures as systems which better mimic cellcell and cell-matrix interaction in the in vivo physiology. Nowadays, 3D cell models have been emerging, not only as an important approach in drug discovery and tissue engineering but also as potential therapeutics assessment for the development of new anticancer strategies. The employment of new 3D cell culture models in combination with traditional 2D models and co-culture models of two or more cell types would enable more accurate evaluation of drug efficiency and sensitivity, toxicity, resistance for in vitro testings before moving into in vivo studies and clinical trials.

A novel material, copper high aspect ratio structure (CuHARS) which is biocompatible, biodegradable and less toxic compared to copper nanoparticles with the same amount of copper has the potential to be used as a delivery system for drug treatment or tissue engineering. Moreover, a combination of CuHARS and disulfiram (DSF) to form DSF metal complex showed significant increase in growth inhibition of gliomas in both 2D and 3D models suggested a promising approach in treating glioblastomas.

Included in

Biomaterials Commons