Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D Cell Growth: Engineers' New Microfluidic Device Could Help With Drug Development

Date:
December 23, 2008
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
Engineers have built a device that gives them an unprecedented view of three-dimensional cell growth and migration, including the formation of blood vessels and the spread of tumor cells.

MIT engineers built a device that gives them an unprecedented view of 3-d cell growth and migration.
Credit: Photo by Donna Coveney

MIT engineers have built a device that gives them an unprecedented view of three-dimensional cell growth and migration, including the formation of blood vessels and the spread of tumor cells.

The microfluidic device, imprinted on a square inch of plastic, could be used to evaluate the potential side effects of drugs in development, or to test the effectiveness of cancer drugs in individual patients.

Roger Kamm, MIT professor of biological and mechanical engineering, and his colleagues reported their observations of angiogenesis --the process by which blood vessels are formed -- in the Oct. 31 online issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.

Microfluidic devices have been widely used in recent years to study cells, but most only allow for the study of cells growing on a flat (two-dimensional) surface, or else lack the ability to observe and control cell behavior. With the new device, researchers can observe cells in real time as they grow in a three-dimensional collagen scaffold under precisely controlled chemical or physical conditions.

Observing angiogenesis and other types of cell growth in three dimensions is critical because that is how such growth normally occurs, said Kamm.

Working with researchers around MIT, Kamm has studied growth patterns of many types of cells, including liver cells, stem cells and neurons. He has also used the device to investigate the pressure buildup that causes glaucoma.

The device allows researchers to gain new insight into cell growth patterns. For example, the researchers observed that one type of breast cancer cell tends to migrate in a uniform mass and induces new capillaries to sprout aggressively toward the original tumor, while a type of brain cancer cell breaks from the primary tumor and migrates individually but does not promote capillary formation.

The system is configured so that researchers can manipulate and study mechanical and biochemical factors that influence cell growth and migration, including stiffness of the gel scaffold, concentration of growth factors and other chemicals, and pressure gradients.

Two or three channels imprinted onto the plastic square contain either a normal cell growth medium or a chemical under study, such as growth factor. Cells growing in the scaffold between the channels are bathed in chemicals from the channels, and the effect of the chemicals can be evaluated based on various measures of cell function.

Kamm and his colleagues first described their microfluidic device in a January 2007 paper in Lab on a Chip. Vernella Vickerman, a graduate student in chemical engineering, and Seok Chung, a postdoctoral fellow in biological engineering, played critical roles in developing the device, Kamm said.

The research was funded by Draper Laboratory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "3-D Cell Growth: Engineers' New Microfluidic Device Could Help With Drug Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218054635.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2008, December 23). 3-D Cell Growth: Engineers' New Microfluidic Device Could Help With Drug Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218054635.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "3-D Cell Growth: Engineers' New Microfluidic Device Could Help With Drug Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218054635.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins