“Macro”-Fluidics for Metastasis –Carbohydrate Lattices -Melissa Deschamps and Lilin Zhao

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CHEM-ENG 590E: Microfluidics and Microscale Analysis in Materials and Biology

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Introduction

Background

Tissue Engineering

There is a large need for organ donations. For example, in 2015 there were around 119,000 patients in need for an organ transplant, but only 30,970 organ transplants were performed [1]. In 2002 the number of people died on the waiting list exceed 6,000 [2]. Research in tissue engineering has promising applications from wound healing to the production of synthetic organs. One of the major challenges is most of the materials that are produced are avascular tissue. Fundamentally tissues are complex and composed of many vascular networks that can deliver nutrients, oxygen, hormones, etc to the cells that make up the greater system. The goal of many literature is to add 3D permeable structures in biomaterials to enhance regenerative and and engineered tissues.

Cancer Metathesis

Recreating vascular, permeable environments is also important in creating experiments to fundamentally understand processes in the human environment. A major goal for some researchers is creating an in situ microenvironment for the study of cancer metastasis. Current models for cancer are limited because they lack vascualation and permeability so they do not mimic the complexity of a tumor cell environment to be useful for biological studies [3].

Current Methods

Benefits of Transitioning to the Microscale

References

[1] Organ Donation Statistics https://www.organdonor.gov/statistics-stories/statistics.html (accessed Apr 7, 2017).

[2] West, J.; Moon, J. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry2008, 8 (4), 300–310. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/156802608783790983