HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Artificial Blood Vessels for Cancer Rese

Microfluidic System for In-vitro Simulation of Metastasis Formation

Logo Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

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Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

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Logo Artificial Blood Vessels for Cancer Rese

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Cancer diseases are highly dangerous in particular, because tumors may form metastases. Cancer cells migrate into the blood, penetrate the walls of finest blood vessels, and form secondary tumors in other organs. With the help of in-vitro simulation, physicians therefore study the migration of cancer cells through blood vessels. So far, a cell culturing vessel, called Boyden chamber, has been the only means available for such simulations. In the Boyden chamber, static conditions prevail. For understanding the processes in blood vessels, however, it is important to also consider blood flow. At the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) of KIT, a microfluidic system has been developed to simulate processes in small blood vessels taking into account flow mechanics. The system consists of two thin platelets made of transparent plastic. The top plate is provided with capillary channels simulating small blood vessels. These channels may be passed by liquids. The bottom plate contains chambers that may be filled with a cell-containing liquid to simulate the surrounding tissue. Between both plates, a transparent membrane containing pores is located. To study metastasis formation, physicians use blood samples contaminated with cancer cells and sow endothelial cells onto the membrane. In the human body, these endothelial cells line the walls of the blood vessels. The cancer cells attach to the endothelial cells. Some are removed by the flow, others succeed in adhering. They displace the endothelial cells, penetrate the pores of the membrane, and enter one of the bottom chambers. This migration of cancer cells can be observed by the researchers using a microscope. Apart from cancer research, the microfluidic system is also suited for use in inflammation and coagulation research. The KIT looks for partners for the further development and series production of the system.

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Hall 2, Stand B16

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