Scientific reports

Investigation of Tumor Cell Behaviors on a Vascular Microenvironment-Mimicking Microfluidic Chip.

PMID 26631692


The extravasation of tumor cells is a key event in tumor metastasis. However, the mechanism underlying tumor cell extravasation remains unknown, mainly hindered by obstacles from the lack of complexity of biological tissues in conventional cell culture, and the costliness and ethical issues of in vivo experiments. Thus, a cheap, time and labor saving, and most of all, vascular microenvironment-mimicking research model is desirable. Herein, we report a microfluidic chip-based tumor extravasation research model which is capable of simultaneously simulating both mechanical and biochemical microenvironments of human vascular systems and analyzing their synergistic effects on the tumor extravasation. Under different mechanical conditions of the vascular system, the tumor cells (HeLa cells) had the highest viability and adhesion activity in the microenvironment of the capillary. The integrity of endothelial cells (ECs) monolayer was destroyed by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in a hemodynamic background, which facilitated the tumor cell adhesion, this situation was recovered by the administration of platinum nanoparticles (Pt-NPs). This model bridges the gap between cell culture and animal experiments and is a promising platform for studying tumor behaviors in the vascular system.