A quantitative in silico platform for simulating cytotoxic and nanoparticle drug delivery to solid tumours
AuthorWijeratne, Peter A.
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The role of tumour–host mechano-biology and the mechanisms involved in the delivery of anti-cancer drugs have been extensively studied using in vitro and in vivo models. A complementary approach is offered by in silico models, which can also potentially identify the main factors affecting the transport of tumour-targeting molecules. Here, we present a generalized three-dimensional in silico modelling framework of dynamic solid tumour growth, angiogenesis and drug delivery. Crucially, the model allows for drug properties—such as size and binding affinity—to be explicitly defined, hence facilitating investigation into the interaction between the changing tumour–host microenvironment and cytotoxic and nanoparticle drugs. We use the model to qualitatively recapitulate experimental evidence of delivery efficacy of cytotoxic and nanoparticle drugs on matrix density (and hence porosity). Furthermore, we predict a highly heterogeneous distribution of nanoparticles after deliverythat nanoparticles require a high porosity extracellular matrix to cause tumour regressionand that post-injection transvascular fluid velocity depends on matrix porosity, and implicitly on the size of the drug used to treat the tumour. These results highlight the utility of predictive in silico modelling in better understanding the factors governing efficient cytotoxic and nanoparticle drug delivery.