Enhanced liver cancer cellular response to a drug on a 3D nanostructured matrix of decellularized eggplant leaves

Mariye Ahmadian, Saadi Hosseini, Atefeh Alipour, Javad Kazemi, Naser Farrokhi, Mehdi Jahanfar, Shahin Homaeigohar, Hosein Shahsavarani (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mimicking tissue-like microenvironments in three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems is an appealing objective towards bridging the knowledge gap between in vitro research and in vivo applications. Through this strategy, researchers can study cell-cell interactions, cell signaling pathways, and responses to external stimuli in a more physiologically relevant setting. Accordingly, the necessary groundwork for disease modelling, drug target identification, and efficacy assessment of therapeutic compounds is realized. Moreover, almost all the ethical issues regarding the implementation of animal or human models are addressed. In this regard, here, a new cellulose-based 3D scaffold with surface trichomes and biomimetic topographical characteristics was developed via chemical decellularization of eggplant leaf (DEL). This 3D scaffold was aimed to perform as a biomimetic microenvironment of hepatocarcinoma tissue. The 3D model was assessed by seeding HepG2 cells on DEL to check the effect of prilocaine (an anticancer drug) on cancer cells. According to the diverse biological characterizations carried out in this study, cell colonies formed on DEL, and a larger efficacy of the drug was observed on the natural 3D scaffold. In conclusion, DEL as a 3D hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model was shown successful in chemotherapeutic drug screening.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109318
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Today Communications
Early online date22 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Drug screening
  • Liver cancer cell modeling
  • Natural 3D scaffold
  • Trichome
  • Tumor microenvironment


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