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Lab Chip. 2013 Aug 7;13(15):3033-40. doi: 10.1039/c3lc50163a.

A novel microfluidic co-culture system for investigation of bacterial cancer targeting.

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Division of Mechanical Engineering, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Systems Engineering, KAIST, 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


Although bacterial cancer targeting in animal models has been previously demonstrated and suggested as a possible therapeutic tool, a thorough understanding of the mechanisms responsible for cancer specificity would be required prior to clinical applications. To visualize bacterial preference for cancer cells over normal cells and to elucidate the cancer-targeting mechanism, a simple microfluidic platform has been developed for in vitro studies. This platform allows simultaneous cultures of multiple cell types in independent culture environments in isolated chambers, and creates a stable chemical gradient across a collagen-filled passage between each of these cell culture chambers and the central channel. The established chemical gradient induces chemotactic preferential migration of bacteria toward a particular cell type for quantitative analysis. As a demonstration, we tested differential bacterial behavior on a two-chamber device where we quantified bacterial preference based on the difference in fluorescence intensities of green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing bacteria at two exits of the collagen-filled passages. Analysis of the chemotactic behavior of Salmonella typhimurium toward normal versus cancer hepatocytes using the developed platform revealed an apparent preference for cancer hepatocytes. We also demonstrate that alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is one of the key chemo-attractants for S. typhimurium in targeting liver cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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