A microfluidic device to study cancer metastasis under chronic and intermittent hypoxia


Metastatic cancer cells must traverse a microenvironment ranging from extremely hypoxic, within the tumor, to highly oxygenated, within the host’s vasculature. Tumor hypoxia can be further characterized by regions of both chronic and intermittent hypoxia. We present the design and characterization of a microfluidic device that can simultaneously mimic the oxygenation conditions observed within the tumor and model the cell migration and intravasation processes. This device can generate spatial oxygen gradients of chronic hypoxia and produce dynamically changing hypoxic microenvironments in long-term culture of cancer cells. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.