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3D printing of brain tumour cells

Fast facts

  • Official title: 3D printing multi-lineage glioma constructs to investigate tumour biology and drug responses
  • Lead researcher: Dr Nicholas Leslie
  • Where: Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh 
  • When: October 2016 - November 2017
  • Cost: £66,923
  • Research type: Adult, Glioblastoma (High Grade), Academic

Up until now, researchers have struggled to get a true view of how brain tumour cells behave because of the difficulties in recreating the human brain environment in the lab. Dr Leslie has, for the first time, found an innovative way of using 3D printing to print and mix glioblastoma stem cells with other cell types common within brain tumours.

Dr Leslie's work will now create a more realistic model for testing treatments, meaning they can get to patients faster.

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Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.

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Dr Leslie explains his innovative way of using 3D printing to print and mix glioblastoma stem cells with other cell types common within brain tumours.
Dr Leslie is a Reader and Associate Professor at Heriot Watt University, within the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering. He moved there from the University of Dundee, and before that the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow. Dr Leslie has previously been awarded a coveted programme grant from the Medical Research Council.