Transitions Between Epithelial and Mesenchymal States in Microfluidic Platform: Acquisition of Malignant and Stem Cell Traits

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Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an indispensable mechanism during morphogenesis, as without mesenchymal cells, tissues and organs will never be formed. Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states have crucial roles in embryonic development and without EMT, in which polarized epithelial cells are converted into motile cells, multicellular organisms would be incapable of progressing past the blastula stage of embryonic development. EMT provides a new basis for understanding the progression of carcinoma towards dedifferentiated and more malignant states. We have developed a 3D microfluidic system by integrating a hydrogel scaffold into a PDMS device for cell growth, with co-culture capability. The devices contain flow channels with each channel separated by a 3D collagen scaffold filled through other microchannels. We have studied migration into collagen scaffolds under a gradient in growth factor and also under various co-culture conditions. This novel microfluidic platform has proven to be a versatile and powerful tool to study cell migration for various biological applications. We are now exploring new applications with this platform as a model system for transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2010: Electronics, Devices, Fabrication, MEMS, Fluidics and Computational
Published: June 21, 2010
Pages: 445 - 447
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Micro & Bio Fluidics, Lab-on-Chip
ISBN: 978-1-4398-3402-2