Breast cancer metastasis involves complex mechanisms, particularly when patients are undergoing chemotherapy. In tissues, tumor cells encounter cell–cell interactions, cell–microenvironment interactions, complex nutrient, and drug gradients. Currently, two-dimensional cell culture systems and animal models are challenging to observe and analyze cell responses to microenvironments with various physical and bio-chemical conditions, and microfluidic technology has been systematically developed to address this dilemma. In this study, we have constructed a combined chemotherapy evaluation chip (CCEC) based on microfluidic technology. The chip possesses 192 diamond-shaped microchambers containing MDA-MB-231-RFP cells, and each microchamber is composed of collagen to mimic breast cancer and its surrounding microenvironment. In addition, by adding medium containing different drugs to the medium channels of CCEC, composite drug (paclitaxel+gemcitabine+7rh and paclitaxel+fluorouracil+PP2) concentration gradients, and single drug (paclitaxel, gemcitabine, 7rh, fluorouracil, PP2) concentration gradients have been established in the five collagen regions, respectively, so that each localized microchamber in the regions has a unique drug microenvironment. In this way, we evaluated the composite and single chemotherapy efficacy on the same chip by statistically analyzing their effects on the numbers and migration of the cell. The quantitative results in CCECs reveal that the inhibition effects on the numbers and migration of MDA-MB-231-RFP cell under the composite drug gradients are more optimal than those of the single drugs. Besides, the cancer cell inhibition effect between the groups composed of two drugs has also been compared, that is the paclitaxel+gemcitabine, paclitaxel+fluorouracil, and paclitaxel+PP2 have better cell numbers and migration inhibition effects than paclitaxel+7rh. The results indicate that the bio-mimetic and high-throughput combined chemotherapy evaluation platform can serve as a more efficient and accurate tool for preclinical drug development and screening.
3D collagen microchamber arrays for combined chemotherapy effect evaluation on cancer cell numbers and migration
Jingru Yao, Guoqiang Li, Lianjie Zhou, Shuyan Xu, Kena Song, Hongfei Zhang, Xianquan Zhang, Jianwei Shuai, Fangfu Ye, Ming Li, Guo Chen, He Liu, Peter Shaw, Liyu Liu; 3D collagen microchamber arrays for combined chemotherapy effect evaluation on cancer cell numbers and migration. Biomicrofluidics 1 January 2023; 17 (1): 014101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0121952
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