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Cancer Invasion Front Gets New Tracking Device

저자:   업로드:2017-09-08  조회수:

    The fog of war is often described by strategists as the level of uncertainty in situational awareness during military operations. Knowing where and when your enemy will attack would, at the very least, offer the opportunity to bolster defenses, if not prevent the incursion altogether.

    Now, investigators at the University of Michigan have just created a fluidic device that looks to track the early cancer aggressor cells, helping to lift the fog in the war on cancer. Findings from the new study were published in Scientific Reports, in an article entitled “Tracking the Tumor Invasion Front Using Long-Term Fluidic Tumoroid Culture.

    "It's especially important to be able to capture those leader cells and understand their biology—why are they so successful, why are they resistant to traditional chemotherapy, and how can we target them selectively?" explained co-senior study investigator Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Microfluidic devices are helping us understand biology that was previously not accessible.”

    A current drawback of existing microfluidic devices is that the cells don't last long within them. These devices typically lend themselves to brief experiments of several days. However, the characteristics of cancer cells change over time.

    "A lot of tumor processes, like invasion and resistance, don't happen overnight. Our goal was to track the long-term evolution of invasion," noted lead study investigator Koh Meng Aw Yong, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Merajver's lab. "We cannot look at just a certain time point, like in a three-day experiment. That might not represent what's happening in the body over time."

    With that focus in mind, the researchers developed a new fluidic device that allows them to cultivate cells for longer periods of time. The team found that the device was stable for up to at least three weeks in culture. The cells look like a thin milky line in a chamber that's smaller than a pill box. They are suspended in three dimensions, unlike typical fluidic devices that capture cells in two dimensions. It allows researchers to feed the cancer cells into the device with very minimal disturbance or change to the cells.

    Interestingly, the microfluidic device consists of three tiny molded channels through which cells flow. The cells are fed into one channel. Fluid flows through a parallel channel to provide press

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