Application of 3-D Microfluidic Models for Studying Mass Transport Properties of the Tumor Interstitial Matrix.

Avendano A, Cortes-Medina M, Song JW
Front Bioeng Biotechnol 7 6 01/01/2019


The physical remodeling associated with cancer progression results in barriers to mass transport in the tumor interstitial space. This hindrance ultimately affects the distribution of macromolecules that govern cell fate and potency of cancer therapies. Therefore, knowing how specific extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular components regulate transport in the tumor interstitium could lead to matrix normalizing strategies that improve patient outcome. Studies over the past decades have provided quantitative insights into interstitial transport in tumors by characterizing two governing parameters: (1) molecular diffusivity and (2) hydraulic conductivity. However, many of the conventional techniques used to measure these parameters are limited due to their inability to experimentally manipulate the physical and cellular environments of tumors. Here, we examine the application and future opportunities of microfluidic systems for identifying the physiochemical mediators of mass transport in the tumor ECM. Further advancement and adoption of microfluidic systems to quantify tumor transport parameters has potential to bridge basic science with translational research for advancing personalized medicine in oncology.

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