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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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