Breast cancer metastasis is a complex process controlled by multiple factors, including various cell-cell interactions, cell-environment coupling, and oxygen, nutrient and drug gradients that are intimately related to the heterogeneous breast tissue structure. In this study, we constructed a high-throughputin vitrobiochip system containing an array of 642 microchambers arranged in a checkerboard configuration, with each chamber embedded in a composite extracellular matrix (ECM) composed of engineered collagen and Matrigel to mimic local heterogeneous environmentin vivo. In addition, a controllable complex tetragonal chemical concentration profile can be achieved by imposing chemical compounds at the four boundaries of the chip, leading to distinct local nutrient and/or drug gradients in the individual microchambers. Here, the microchamber array with composite ECM (MACECM) device aims to simulate multiple tumor cell niches composed of both breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A-GFP) and metastatic breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231-RFP), which enables systematic studies of cell responses to a variety of biochemical conditions. The results obtained from the MACECM studies indicate that discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) inhibitor 7rh and matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor batimastat, in association with epidermal growth factor (EGF) had no significant effects on the growth of MCF-10A-GFP cells, but had significant effects on DDR1 expression and the related migratory behavior of MDA-MB-231-RFP cells. The MACECM design not only enables the construction of a more realisticin vitromodel for investigating cancer cell migration mechanisms but also has considerable potential for further development as a platform for next-generation high-throughput and therapeutic screening (e.g., anti-cancer drug evaluation) and personalized medicine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering