In Vitro Vascularized Models and their Application to Studies of Metastatic Cancer
Professor Roger D. Kamm
Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Over the past 10 years, our ability to realistically model the critical biological steps in disease have dramatically improved, due in part to advances in microfluidic technologies. In particular, the capabilities to create realistic 3D microenvironments, including microvascular perfusion, have led to in vitro models for disease that offer considerable advantages over in vivo experiments. In this talk, I will present some recent advances in creating microvascular networks in vitro through the emergent behaviors of heterotypic cell populations and using these to model the successive stages of metastatic cancer. I will also present the evolution and stabilization of these networks as characterized by the mechanical properties of the vascularized tissue, proteomic analysis of the corresponding extracellular matrix, and genomic analysis of the different cell types present.