Probing the tumor microenvironment: Collection and induction

James K. Williams, Michael R. Padgen, Yarong Wang, David Entenberg, Frank Gertler, John S. Condeelis, James Castracane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The Nano Intravital Device, or NANIVID, is under development as an optically transparent, implantable tool to study the tumor microenvironment. Two etched glass substrates are sealed using a thin polymer membrane to create a reservoir with a single outlet. This reservoir is loaded with a hydrogel blend that contains growth factors or other chemicals to be delivered to the tumor microenvironment. When the device is implanted in the tumor, the hydrogel will swell and release these entrapped molecules, forming a gradient. Validation of the device has been performed in vitro using epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Mena INV, a highly invasive, rat mammary adenocarcinoma cell line. In both 2-D and 3-D environments, cells migrated toward the gradient of EGF released from the device. The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of White Leghorn chicken eggs is being utilized to grow xenograft tumors that will be used for ex vivo cell collection. Device optimization is being performed for in vivo use as a tool to collect the invasive cell population. Preliminary cell collection experiments in vivo were performed using a mouse model of breast cancer. As a second application, the device is being explored as a delivery vehicle for chemicals that induce controlled changes in the tumor microenvironment. H 2O 2 was loaded in the device and generated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells near the device outlet. In the future, other induction targets will be explored, including hypoglycemia and the manipulation of extracellular matrix stiffness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems X
StatePublished - 2012
EventMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems X - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2012Jan 24 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems X
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • BioMEMS
  • Cell Collection
  • Chemotaxis
  • Metastasis
  • Microfabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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