Endothelial Cell Perfusion in a Cancer Model.
- Cancer research currently relies heavily on in vitro models to study cancer growth mechanisms and conduct initial drug screens. These models are limited in their relevance to clinical tumors because they lack the necessary integrated blood vasculature for with which to interact. The long-term goal of this research, therefore, is to develop a vascularized 3D in vitro cancer model that will represen... read moret cancer cell-vasculature interactions. This model would allow researchers to study the critical area of cancer metastasis and enable high throughput testing of anti-angiogenic drugs. To achieve this goal, we suggest combining angiogenesis and vasculogenesis induction methods into one 3D neoplastic cell model. Vasculogenesis was induced in human microvascular endothelial cells in the presence of neoplastic cells, a feature that had yet to be achieved by those working in this research field. This was done using Type I collagen gel under static culture conditions. In addition, a microfluidic device was developed and optimized for the use of establishing dynamic culture conditions necessary in angiogenesis. The device was further used to show its ability to sustain live cells within the scaffold and our ability to image and distinguish between individual cell types with the device fully intact. This device will be used in the future completion of the angiogenic induction studies, as well as for combining the optimal angiogenesis and vasculogenesis culture conditions into one cumulative 3D neoplastic cell model.read less