De novo design of a tumor spheroid containing multiple cell types within a 3D printed scaffold or "cage" with vascularisation

3R-US - Focus on cancer


Novel tumor tissue platform to replace animal testing

About us

The 3R-US network develops a versatile platform for drug testing as a substitute for animal experiments. With interdisciplinary partners in cell biology, biomedical engineering and oncology at the University of Stuttgart (Olayioye, Kontermann and Heymann labs) and the Robert Bosch Hospital (Aulitzky lab), 3R-US advances methods for cultivation of tumor tissues (ex vivo) and develops tumor models by 3D printing (de novo) that recapitulate the complexity of human tissues. The data derived from these approaches will further be used to establish and validate mathematical (in silico) patient-predictive models.

We are funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst - MWK) of the state of Baden-Württemberg with the aim to anchor the 3Rs principle (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) into our research, teaching and training activities.


Focus on cancer

Most studies evaluating anti-cancer therapeutics proceed from human cell culture to preclinical cell line or patient derived mouse tumor models. These models poorly recapitulate the complexity, heterogeneity, and physiology of human tumors. 3R-US is therefore advancing methods that enable the long-term ex vivo cultivation of tumor tissues. New (targeted) therapeutics and combination therapies are evaluated in these tissue cultures to optimize treatment regimes.

We also use state-of-the-art 3D printing techniques, so-called de novo technology, to replicate human tissues, made from biomaterials and cells. By cultivating them in microfluidic systems we ensure a constant and gradual supply of nutrients and/or tested drugs.

Finally, the data derived from the ex vivo and de novo approaches will be used by simulation and mathematical modeling experts to create in silico tumor models that reliably predict therapy responses to anti-cancer drugs.

Clinical Partners

Patient-derived tumor tissue models - Walter Aulitzky

Our 3R-US doctoral students at work!

Photo of the three 3R-US doctoral students at the Institut of Cell Biology and Immunology yearly retreat 2023. From left to right: Julia Thiel (Aulitzky Lab), Kai Hirzel (Heymann Lab) and Stella Asmanidou (Olayioye/Kontermann Labs)

Die zweite Jahreskonferenz des 3R-Netzwerks BW

Die zweite Jahreskonferenz des 3R-Netzwerks BW wird am 15. und 16. Juni 2023 in Heidelberg stattfinden. Die Konferenzteilnahme ist kostenlos und die Konferenzsprache ist Englisch. Wir möchten insbesondere auch Nachwuchswissenschaftler:innen ermutigen an der Jahreskonferenz teilzunehmen und einen Abstract für einen Vortrag oder eine Posterpräsentation einzureichen.  Der Anmeldeschluss ist 15.05.2023 und die Deadline für die Abstract Einreichung ist der 30.04.2023

Hier anmelden

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