bims-miftum Biomed News
on Microfluidics and 3D tumor models
Issue of 2020‒11‒01
one paper selected by
Nidhi Menon
Virginia Tech


  1. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2020 Oct 28.
    Azadi S, Shadpour MT, Warkiani ME.
      Different biochemical and biomechanical cues from tumor microenvironment affect the extravasation of cancer cells to distant organs; among them, the mechanical signals are poorly understood. Although the effect of substrate stiffness on the primary migration of cancer cells has been previously probed, its role in regulating the extravasation ability of cancer cells is still vague. Herein, we used a microfluidic device to mimic the extravasation of tumor cells in a 3D microenvironment containing cancer cells, endothelial cells, and the biological matrix. The microfluidic-based extravasation model was utilized to probe the effect of substrate stiffness on the invasion ability of breast cancer cells. MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells were cultured among substrates with different stiffness which followed by monitoring their extravasation capability through the microfluidic device. Our results demonstrated that acidic collagen at a concentration of 2.5 mg/ml promotes migration of cancer cells. Additionally, the substrate softening resulted in up to 46% reduction in the invasion of breast cancer cells. The substrate softening not only affected the number of extravasated cells but also reduced their migration distance up to 53%. We further investigated the secreted level of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) and identified that there is a positive correlation between substrate stiffening, MMP9 concentration, and extravasation of cancer cells. These findings suggest that the substrate stiffness mediates the cancer cells extravasation in a microfluidic model. Changes in MMP9 level could be one of the possible underlying mechanisms which need more investigations to be addressed thoroughly. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Collagen; Extravasation; MMP9; Microfluidics; Substrate stiffness
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.27612