Bone Tissue Engineering Lab

Headed by Eric Farrell and Andrea Lolli

Breast 2 Bone


Breast cancer hits 1 woman in 8, and its most common metastatic site is the bone (70%). A major hurdle to overcome breast cancer mortality is the lack of understanding of the dynamics leading to the spread of breast cancer cells to the bone.


To shed light on the bone metastatic process, B2B aims to develop a breakthrough technology that for the first time dissects the steps of spontaneous breast cancer metastasis to the bone and captures the 3D complexity of the process.


The B2B device includes macro-size organoids from breast tumor and bone, assembled together with a macro-to-micro vascular network. This level of physiological complexity is required to capture the key elements of the metastatic process.

The unique device includes a 3D patient-derived primary lesion growing within its own self-assembled micro-vascular capillary network connected to a functional bioprinted macro-vascular tree. The circulatory system mimics the features of human blood vessels feeding and connecting living-tumor cells from breast cancer to the target metastatic tissue: the bone, represented by a marrow-containing ossicle.

Image: schematics of the B2B device


Breast 2 Bone Project Website