The objective of this study was to create 3D engineered tissue models to accelerate identification of safe and efficacious breast cancer drug therapies. It is expected that this platform will dramatically reduce the time and costs associated with development and regulatory approval of anti-cancer therapies, currently a multi-billion dollar endeavor [1]. Existing two-dimensional (2D) in vitro and in vivo animal studies required for identification of effective cancer therapies account for much of the high costs of anti-cancer medications and health insurance premiums borne by patients, many of whom cannot afford it. An emerging paradigm in pharmaceutical drug development is the use of three-dimensional (3D) cell/biomaterial models that will accurately screen novel therapeutic compounds, repurpose existing compounds and terminate ineffective ones. In particular, identification of effective chemotherapies for breast cancer are anticipated to occur more quickly in 3D in vitro models than 2D in vitro environments and in vivo animal models, neither of which accurately mimic natural human tumor environments [2]. Moreover, these 3D models can be multi-cellular and designed with extracellular matrix (ECM) function and mechanical properties similar to that of natural in vivo cancer environments [3].

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