BIOMICROGEL is a three year project funded by the 2019 Spanish State R&D Program. The project started in June 2020 and is coordinated by Prof José Luis Gómez Ribelles at CBIT.

BIOMICROGEL stands for «Biomimetic microgels to recreate the interaction between tumour cells and their microenvironment. Study of the interaction between tumour cells and mesenchymal stem cells.» The project has 4 independent sub-projects led by research groups in Valencia, Zaragoza, and Bilbao.

The sub-project we lead at CBIT is focused on the development of biomimetic microgels for the study of the generation of drug resistance in Multiple Myeloma.

The objective of this subproject is to develop an analogue of the bone marrow of a patient of Multiple Myeloma, MM, to be able to study in that experimental model, ex vivo, the interactions between the tumour cells and their cellular environment in the bone marrow (mainly with the mesenchymal stem cells, MSC) and with the components of the extracellular matrix. It is known that the testing of antitumor drugs malignant plasma cell in 2D cultures overestimates their effectiveness and so does the suspension culture in the absence of these elements with which the tumour cells interact and that generate drug resistance. The vision of our project is to develop a realistic cultivation system adapted to the study of MM. By a realistic support we understand a three-dimensional environment in which the interactions between all its components are analogous to those in vivo and, as a consequence, the resistance that the tumour generates to the drug in the patient is also generated in the culture.

The system we plan to develop will be optimized using MM tumour cell lines, and then validated with primary cells obtained from MM patients with informed consent. Doctors of Hematology Services of two hospitals: Virgen de la Arrixaca in Murcia
and La Fe in Valencia who participate in the research team of this subproject are in charge of this task. With all this, it is expected that as a result of the project we will have a powerful tool for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs that target the interactions of tumor cells with their environment and can also be used to test the efficacy of a drug in a specific patient. and advance in the personalization of the

Papers published with project results