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Curr Opin Chem Eng. 2016 Feb;11:20-27. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Biomimetic on-a-chip platforms for studying cancer metastasis.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, United States; The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
2
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, United States; Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States.

Abstract

Cancer metastasis is a multi-step, secondary tumor formation that is responsible for the vast majority of deaths in cancer patients. Animal models have served as one of the major tools for studying metastatic diseases. However, these metastasis models inherently lack the ability to decouple many of the key parameters that might contribute to cancer progression, and therefore ultimately limit detailed, mechanistic investigation of metastasis. Recently, organ-on-a-chip model systems have been developed for various tissue types with the potential to recapitulate major components of metastasis. Here, we discuss recent advances in in vitro biomimetic on-a-chip models for cancer metastasis.

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