Marissa Stanvick - A multipurpose microfluidic device designed to mimic microenvironment gradients and develop targeted cancer therapeutics

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Colin L. Walsh, Brett M. Babin, Rachel W. Kasinskas, Jean A.   Foster, Marissa J. McGarry and Neil S. Forbes,      Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 545


      The heterogeneity of cellular microenvironments in tumors   severely  limits the efficacy of most cancer therapies. We   have designed a  microfluidic device that mimics the   microenvironment gradients present  in tumors that will   enable the development of more effective cancer  therapies.   Tumor cell masses were formed within micron-scale chambers    exposed to medium perfusion on one side to create linear   nutrient  gradients. The optical accessibility of the PDMS   and glass device  enables quantitative transmitted and   fluorescence microscopy of all  regions of the cell masses.   Time-lapse microscopy was used to measure  the growth rate   and show that the device can be used for long-term  efficacy   studies. Fluorescence microscopy was used to demonstrate   that  the cell mass contained viable, apoptotic, and acidic   regions similar to  in vivo tumors. The diffusion   coefficient of doxorubicin was  accurately measured, and the   accumulation of therapeutic bacteria was  quantified. The   device is simple to construct, and it can easily be    reproduced to create an array of in vitro tumors.   Because  microenvironment gradients and penetration play   critical roles  controlling drug efficacy, we believe that   this microfluidic device will  be vital for understanding   the behavior of common cancer drugs in solid  tumors and   designing novel intratumorally targeted therapeutics.

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