Improving the Subcutaneous Mouse Tumor Model by Effective Manipulation of Magnetic Nanoparticles-Treated Implanted Cancer Cells

  • Katerina Spyridopoulou
  • Georgios Aindelis
  • Evangeli Lampri
  • Maria Giorgalli
  • Eleftheria Lamprianidou
  • Ioannis Kotsianidis
  • Anastasia Tsingotjidou
  • Aglaia Pappa
  • Orestis Kalogirou
  • Katerina Chlichlia


Murine tumor models have played a fundamental role in the development of novel therapeutic interventions and are currently widely used in translational research. Specifically, strategies that aim at reducing inter-animal variability of tumor size in transplantable mouse tumor models are of particular importance. In our approach, we used magnetic nanoparticles to label and manipulate colon cancer cells for the improvement of the standard syngeneic subcutaneous mouse tumor model. Following subcutaneous injection on the scruff of the neck, magnetically-tagged implanted cancer cells were manipulated by applying an external magnetic field towards localized tumor formation. Our data provide evidence that this approach can facilitate the formation of localized tumors of similar shape, reducing thereby the tumor size’s variability. For validating the proof-of-principle, a low-dose of 5-FU was administered in small animal groups as a representative anticancer therapy. Under these experimental conditions, the 5-FU-induced tumor growth inhibition was statistically significant only after the implementation of the proposed method. The presented approach is a promising strategy for studying accurately therapeutic interventions in subcutaneous experimental solid tumor models allowing for the detection of statistically significant differences between smaller experimental groups.


Magnetic nanoparticles Subcutaneous/transplantable mouse tumor model BALB/c mice CT26 cells Preclinical screening 





Dulbecco’s modified Eagle medium


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry


Phosphate-buffered saline


Sulforhodamine B


Side scatter




Magnetic nanoparticles


Fluorescently-labeled magnetic nanoparticles


Confidence interval


Standard deviation


Interquartile range



Part of the work was implemented by utilizing the facilities of the ‘OPENSCREEN-GR’ supported by the National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures under the National Strategy for Research, Technological Development, and Innovation (2014–2020) by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Hellenic Republic.

Conflict of interest

Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katerina Spyridopoulou
    • 1
  • Georgios Aindelis
    • 1
  • Evangeli Lampri
    • 1
  • Maria Giorgalli
    • 1
  • Eleftheria Lamprianidou
    • 2
  • Ioannis Kotsianidis
    • 2
  • Anastasia Tsingotjidou
    • 3
  • Aglaia Pappa
    • 1
  • Orestis Kalogirou
    • 4
  • Katerina Chlichlia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsDemocritus University of ThraceAlexandroupolisGreece
  2. 2.Department of Hematology, School of MedicineDemocritus University of ThraceAlexandroupolisGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, School of Veterinary MedicineAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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