Research ArticleCANCER

Colorectal tumor-on-a-chip system: A 3D tool for precision onco-nanomedicine

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Science Advances  22 May 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 5, eaaw1317
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1317


Awareness that traditional two-dimensional (2D) in vitro and nonrepresentative animal models may not completely emulate the 3D hierarchical complexity of tissues and organs is on the rise. Therefore, posterior translation into successful clinical application is compromised. To address this dearth, on-chip biomimetic microenvironments powered by microfluidic technologies are being developed to better capture the complexity of in vivo pathophysiology. Here, we describe a “tumor-on-a-chip” model for assessment of precision nanomedicine delivery on which we validate the efficacy of drug-loaded nanoparticles in a gradient fashion. The model validation was performed by viability studies integrated with live imaging to confirm the dose-response effect of cells exposed to the CMCht/PAMAM nanoparticle gradient. This platform also enables the analysis at the gene expression level, where a down-regulation of all the studied genes (MMP-1, Caspase-3, and Ki-67) was observed. This tumor-on-chip model represents an important development in the use of precision nanomedicine toward personalized treatment.

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