Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. One challenge is understanding how cancer cells react to heterogenous tumor environments. There are many practices for researching cancer, but microfluidics provides a new approach; therefore, the goal of the project was to observe human breast cancer cells within a 3D microfluidic system. Sharp, predictable oxygen gradients can be modeled and effects such as viability, proliferation, and migration of the cells can be observed. Three gradient lengths were tested and analyzed in the PDMS device and were produced by flowing nitrogen (0% O2) and compressed air (21% O2): sharp (100um), intermediate (700um), and shallow (5mm). The sharp gradient device produced the most migration and proliferation in the hyperoxic region.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project