Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Member

Dr. Brian Booth, PhD, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Ken Webb, PhD

Committee Member

Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee, PhD


Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States and is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. Many treatment options, such as chemotherapy or surgery, are invasive, ineffective, or detrimental to the body. It has been previously demonstrated that tannic acid has anti-cancer properties and is effective in killing cancer cells while not adversely affecting healthy cells. Tannic acid crosslinks collagen type I. We have proposed using tannic acid crosslinked collagen type I beads to fill in the void left after surgery while simultaneously treating any remaining cancer cells after a breast cancer patient has a lumpectomy. This will aid in killing any remaining cancer cells while helping to regrow the void left in the tissue by first growing the patient's adipocytes on the beads before delivery. Matrigel®, an extracellular membrane-based (ECM) hydrogel is thermoresponsive, which is ideal for the matrix that will be used. Expanding on previous work, adipocyte-seeded beads are mixed with Matrigel® and placed in Transwell inserts should allow us to determine if TA is capable of diffusing out the matrix and treating the HER2+ breast cancer cells in the bottom of the wells. Imaging and cell counting determined that tannic acid had an effect on the HER+ breast cancer cell. Western blots were conducted to determine changes proteins in protein expression after three days of treatment with varying concentrations of tannic acid. FC assays determined the amount of tannic acid in the media after the treatment period. The permeability of tannic acid and ability to diffuse through the gel is important for efficient treatment of breast cancer cells. The findings from this proof of concept experiment will allow for further research to be performed on novel cancer treatments that are less invasive for patients. Future research includes finding an alternative matrix in which to deliver these cells that has properties like Matrigel®. Additionally, ideal bead size and specific concentration of tannic acid will be identified to ensure beads are deliverable and effective.



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