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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.

University of Illinois researchers have developed a new technique to create a cell habitat of squishy fluids, called hydrogels, which can realistically and quickly recreate microenvironments found across biology.

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