Angiogenesis: Novel microfluidic assay for cancer cell invasion with real-time imaging

Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer progression from primary malignancy to metastatic disease is critical to development of successful treatments. Cell invasion from the primary tumor and tumor-induced angiogenesis are just two of many phenomena contributing to the pathology of metastatic disease. Both biological processes involve migration and transmigration of cells in response to chemoattractants.

Conventional In vitro analysis of these phenomena typically involves deposition of a basement membrane derived matrix (i.e. Matrigel) in a static well plate, often times using a porous cell culture insert. These inserts can be difficult to process and often preclude capturing data in real-time. Here, we demonstrate a microfluidic method to follow angiogen- esis and cell invasion in real time. The method enables acquisition of high content data by microscopy using microfluidic flow cells called BioFlux Plates. These devices are optimized for imaging and leverage the parallel flow capabilities of the BioFlux system to create a unique cell invasion environment (Figure 1).