NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A team of researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Michigan Engineering have developed a new microfluidic technology designed to track cancer cell metastasis.
Current microfluidic devices do not allow most cells to last very long in their chambers, eventually degrading over time. Most devices manage cells for short experiments of several days, but the characteristics of cancer cells change over time and nullify any attempts at long-term studies using standard devices.
As cancer cells develop, individual cells eventually break away and travel through a patient’s capillaries, spreading to distant areas in the body and creating other areas of growth. This detrimental process takes weeks, if not months, to occur.
“It’s especially important to be able to capture those leader cells and understand their biology – why are they so successful, why are their resistant to traditional chemotherapy, and how can we target them selectively?” study author and Breast Oncology Program Director at UMCCC Sofia Merajver said in a statement.
In an attempt to address these problems, researchers at UMCCC developed a small, fluidic device that allows them to cultivate cells for longer periods of time. While the study, published in Scientific