October 17, 2022
Engineering microphysiological systems of the tumor microenvironment
Sheena Kerr, PhD
Microtechnology, Medicine, and Biology Lab
Microphysiological systems (MPS) can bridge the gap between traditional 2-dimensional in vitro platforms and in vivo models. These engineered models can recapitulate both the tissue architecture and multicellular crosstalk of the biological niche, which can have a profound effect on cellular phenotype and function. In this talk, I will detail our work on creating MPS that represent the tumor microenvironment (TME), the complex mix of stromal cells, immune cells and vasculature that surrounds the tumor. Specifically, I will describe how we use microfluidic devices to recreate the TME, mimicking the solid tumor, vasculature and stroma and demonstrate how we can use these MPS to elucidate the biology of metastasis, investigate critically understudied sites such as bone metastases and work towards creation of patient-specific models that could inform clinical decision making. Additionally, I will also discuss a microscale platform for multiplexed analysis of low volume blood samples.