In the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering simulating the native microenvironment is of utmost importance. As a major component of the microenvironment, the extracellular matrix (ECM) contributes to tissue homeostasis, whereas modifications of native features are associated with pathological conditions. Furthermore, three-dimensional (3D) geometry is an important feature of synthetic scaffolds favoring cell stemness, maintenance and differentiation. We analyzed the 3D structure, geometrical measurements and anisotropy of the ECM isolated from (i) human bladder mucosa (basal lamina and lamina propria) and muscularis propria; and, (ii) bladder carcinoma (BC). Next, binding and invasion of bladder metastatic cell line was observed on synthetic scaffold recapitulating anisotropy of tumoral ECM, but not on scaffold with disorganized texture typical of non-neoplastic lamina propria. This study provided information regarding the ultrastructure and geometry of healthy human bladder and BC ECMs. Likewise, using synthetic scaffolds we identified linearization of the texture as a mandatory feature for BC cell invasion. Integrating microstructure and geometry with biochemical and mechanical factors could support the development of an innovative synthetic bladder substitute or a tumoral scaffold predictive of chemotherapy outcomes.
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