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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2010, Article ID 437219, 7 pages
Research Article

The 3-D Culture and In Vivo Growth of the Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line HepG2 in a Self-Assembling Peptide Nanofiber Scaffold

Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, China

Received 24 March 2010; Revised 1 August 2010; Accepted 13 August 2010

Academic Editor: Jun Liu

Copyright © 2010 Min Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the use of the RADA16-I scaffold to mimic the ECM microenvironment and support tumor cell adherence and survival. Cellular morphology, proliferation, adhesion ability, and in vivo tumor formation were studied in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 in the 3-D RADA16-I scaffold. No significant differences in HepG2 cell proliferation, adhesion, and albumin secretion were observed in the peptide scaffold compared to collagen I. Furthermore, the HepG2 cells precultured in the peptide scaffold showed a higher proliferation rate and formed significantly bigger tumors when compared to cells grown on a traditional 2D monolayer, suggesting that the 3-D RADA16-I scaffold can mimic the tumor microenvironment and promote a malignant phenotype in HepG2 cells. Our results indicate that the RADA16-I scaffold can serve as an ideal model for tumorigenesis, growth, local invasion, and metastasis.