Matching Items (6)

Engineering a three dimensional micropatterned tumor model for breast cancer cell migration studies

Description

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression.

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression. In this regard, morphologically accurate tumor models are becoming instrumental to perform fundamental studies on cancer cell invasion within well-controlled conditions. In this study, the use of photocrosslinkable hydrogels and a novel, two-step photolithography technique was explored to microengineer a 3D breast tumor model. The microfabrication process presented herein enabled precise localization of the cells and creation of high stiffness constructs adjacent to a low stiffness matrix. To validate the model, breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MCF7) and normal mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) were embedded separately within the tumor model and cellular proliferation, migration and cytoskeletal organization were assessed. Proliferation of metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells was significantly higher than tumorigenic MCF7 and normal mammary MCF10A cells. MDA-MB-231 exhibited highly migratory behavior and invaded the surrounding matrix, whereas MCF7 or MCF10A cells formed clusters that were confined within the micropatterned circular features. F-actin staining revealed unique 3D protrusions in MDA-MB-231 cells as they migrated throughout the surrounding matrix. Alternatively, there were abundance of 3D clusters formed by MCF7 and MCF10A cells. The results revealed that gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel, integrated with the two-step photolithography technique, has great promise in creating 3D tumor models with well-defined features and tunable stiffness for detailed studies on cancer cell invasion and drug responsiveness.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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High-throughput platforms for tumor dormancy-relapse and biomolecule binding using aminoglycoside-derived hydrogels

Description

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed tumor phenotypes in high-throughput will allow for rapid targeted drug discovery, development and validation. Ablation of dormant cancer will not only completely remove the cancer disease, but also will prevent any future recurrence. A novel hydrogel, Amikagel, was developed by crosslinking of aminoglycoside amikacin with a polyethylene glycol crosslinker. Aminoglycosides contain abundant amount of easily conjugable groups such as amino and hydroxyl moieties that were crosslinked to generate the hydrogel. Cancer cells formed 3D spheroidal structures that underwent near complete dormancy on Amikagel high-throughput drug discovery platform. Due to their dormant status, conventional anticancer drugs such as mitoxantrone and docetaxel that target the actively dividing tumor phenotype were found to be ineffective. Hypothesis driven rational drug discovery approaches were used to identify novel pathways that could sensitize dormant cancer cells to death. Strategies were used to further accelerate the dormant cancer cell death to save time required for the therapeutic outcome.

Amikagel’s properties were chemo-mechanically tunable and directly impacted the outcome of tumor dormancy or relapse. Exposure of dormant spheroids to weakly stiff and adhesive formulation of Amikagel resulted in significant relapse, mimicking the response to changes in extracellular matrix around dormant tumors. Relapsed cells showed significant differences in their metastatic potential compared to the cells that remained dormant after the induction of relapse. Further, the dissertation discusses the use of Amikagels as novel pDNA binding resins in microbead and monolithic formats for potential use in chromatographic purifications. High abundance of amino groups allowed their utilization as novel anion-exchange pDNA binding resins. This dissertation discusses Amikagel formulations for pDNA binding, metastatic cancer cell separation and novel drug discovery against tumor dormancy and relapse.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Three-dimensional morphometric biosignatures of cancer by automated analysis of transmission-mode optical cell CT images

Description

Despite significant advances in digital pathology and automation sciences, current diagnostic practice for cancer detection primarily relies on a qualitative manual inspection of tissue architecture and cell and nuclear morphology in stained biopsies using low-magnification, two-dimensional (2D) brightfield microscopy. The

Despite significant advances in digital pathology and automation sciences, current diagnostic practice for cancer detection primarily relies on a qualitative manual inspection of tissue architecture and cell and nuclear morphology in stained biopsies using low-magnification, two-dimensional (2D) brightfield microscopy. The efficacy of this process is limited by inter-operator variations in sample preparation and imaging, and by inter-observer variability in assessment. Over the past few decades, the predictive value quantitative morphology measurements derived from computerized analysis of micrographs has been compromised by the inability of 2D microscopy to capture information in the third dimension, and by the anisotropic spatial resolution inherent to conventional microscopy techniques that generate volumetric images by stacking 2D optical sections to approximate 3D. To gain insight into the analytical 3D nature of cells, this dissertation explores the application of a new technology for single-cell optical computed tomography (optical cell CT) that is a promising 3D tomographic imaging technique which uses visible light absorption to image stained cells individually with sub-micron, isotropic spatial resolution. This dissertation provides a scalable analytical framework to perform fully-automated 3D morphological analysis from transmission-mode optical cell CT images of hematoxylin-stained cells. The developed framework performs rapid and accurate quantification of 3D cell and nuclear morphology, facilitates assessment of morphological heterogeneity, and generates shape- and texture-based biosignatures predictive of the cell state. Custom 3D image segmentation methods were developed to precisely delineate volumes of interest (VOIs) from reconstructed cell images. Comparison with user-defined ground truth assessments yielded an average agreement (DICE coefficient) of 94% for the cell and its nucleus. Seventy nine biologically relevant morphological descriptors (features) were computed from the segmented VOIs, and statistical classification methods were implemented to determine the subset of features that best predicted cell health. The efficacy of our proposed framework was demonstrated on an in vitro model of multistep carcinogenesis in human Barrett's esophagus (BE) and classifier performance using our 3D morphometric analysis was compared against computerized analysis of 2D image slices that reflected conventional cytological observation. Our results enable sensitive and specific nuclear grade classification for early cancer diagnosis and underline the value of the approach as an objective adjunctive tool to better understand morphological changes associated with malignant transformation.

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Created

Date Created
2013

Ultra structurally based impedance model for oral cancer detection

Description

This research investigated using impedance as a minimally invasive oral cancer-screening tool by modeling healthy and diseased tissue. This research developed an ultra-structurally based tissue model for oral mucosa that is versatile enough to be easily modified to mimic the

This research investigated using impedance as a minimally invasive oral cancer-screening tool by modeling healthy and diseased tissue. This research developed an ultra-structurally based tissue model for oral mucosa that is versatile enough to be easily modified to mimic the passive electrical impedance responses of multiple benign and cancerous tissue types. This new model provides answers to biologically meaningful questions related to the impedance response of healthy and diseased tissues. This model breaks away from the old empirical top down "black box" Thèvinin equivalent model. The new tissue model developed here was created from a bottom up perspective resulting in a model that is analogous to having a "Transparent Box" where each network element relating to a specific structural component is known. This new model was developed starting with sub cellular ultra-structural components such as membranes, proteins and electrolytes. These components formed the basic network elements and topology of the organelles. The organelle networks combine to form the cell networks. The cell networks combine to make networks of cell layers and the cell layers were combined into tissue networks. This produced the complete "Transparent Box" model for normal tissue. This normal tissue model was modified for disease based on the ultra-structural pathology of each disease. The diseased tissues evaluated include cancers type one through type three; necrotic-inflammation, hyperkeratosis and the compound condition of hyperkeratosis over cancer type two. The impedance responses for each of the disease were compared side by side with the response of normal healthy tissue. Comparative evidence from the models showed the structural changes in cancer produce a unique identifiable impedance "finger print." The evaluation of the "Transparent Box" model for normal tissues and diseased tissues show clear support for using comparative impedance measurements as a clinical tool for oral cancer screening.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Insulator based dielectrophoretic trapping of single mammalian cells

Description

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also applicable for selective trapping of weakly metastatic mammalian breast cancer

This work demonstrated a novel microfluidic device based on direct current (DC) insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for trapping individual mammalian cells in a microfluidic device. The novel device is also applicable for selective trapping of weakly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells (MCF-7) from mixtures with mammalian Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) and highly metastatic mammalian breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231. The advantage of this approach is the ease of integration of iDEP structures in microfliudic channels using soft lithography, the use of DC electric fields, the addressability of the single cell traps for downstream analysis and the straightforward multiplexing for single cell trapping. These microfluidic devices are targeted for capturing of single cells based on their DEP behavior. The numerical simulations point out the trapping regions in which single cell DEP trapping occurs. This work also demonstrates the cell conductivity values of different cell types, calculated using the single-shell model. Low conductivity buffers are used for trapping experiments. These low conductivity buffers help reduce the Joule heating. Viability of the cells in the buffer system was studied in detail with a population size of approximately 100 cells for each study. The work also demonstrates the development of the parallelized single cell trap device with optimized traps. This device is also capable of being coupled detection of target protein using MALDI-MS.

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Date Created
2013

Microfluidic models of tumor-stroma interactions to study the interplay of cancer cells with their surrounding microenvironment

Description

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Although early diagnostics using biomarkers and improved treatments with targeted therapy have reduced the rate of cancer related mortalities, there remain many

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Although early diagnostics using biomarkers and improved treatments with targeted therapy have reduced the rate of cancer related mortalities, there remain many unknowns regarding the contributions of the tumor microenvironment to cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. The tumor microenvironment plays a significant role by manipulating the progression of cancer cells through biochemical and biophysical signals from the surrounding stromal cells along with the extracellular matrix. As such, there is a critical need to understand how the tumor microenvironment influences the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis to facilitate the discovery of better therapies. This thesis described the development of microfluidic technologies to study the interplay of cancer cells with their surrounding microenvironment. The microfluidic model was used to assess how exposure to chemoattractant, epidermal growth factor (EGF), impacted 3D breast cancer cell invasion and enhanced cell motility speed was noted in the presence of EGF validating physiological cell behavior. Additionally, breast cancer and patient-derived cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) cells were co-cultured to study cell-cell crosstalk and how it affected cancer invasion. GPNMB was identified as a novel gene of interest and it was shown that CAFs enhanced breast cancer invasion by up-regulating the expression of GPNMB on breast cancer cells resulting in increased migration speed. Lastly, this thesis described the design, biological validation, and use of this microfluidic platform as a new in vitro 3D organotypic model to study mechanisms of glioma stem cell (GSC) invasion in the context of a vascular niche. It was confirmed that CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling is involved in promoting GSC invasion in a 3D vascular microenvironment, while also demonstrating the effectiveness of the microfluidic as a drug screening assay. Taken together, the broader impacts of the microfluidic model developed in this dissertation include, a possible alternative platform to animal testing that is focused on mimicking human physiology, a potential ex vivo platform using patient-derived cells for studying the interplay of cancer cells with its surrounding microenvironment, and development of future therapeutic strategies tailored toward disrupting key molecular pathways involved in regulatory mechanisms of cancer invasion.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018