Tunable Collagen Microfluidic Platform to Study Nanoparticle Transport in the Tumor Microenvironment

  • Matthew R. DeWittEmail author
  • M. Nichole Rylander
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1831)


This chapter describes the motivation and protocol for creating a perfused 3D microfluidic in vitro platform representative of the tumor microenvironment to study nanoparticle transport. The cylindrical vascularized tumor platform described consists of a central endothelialized microchannel surrounded by a collagen hydrogel matrix containing cancer cells. This system can be employed to investigate key nanoparticle transport events in the tumor such as extravasation, diffusion within the extracellular matrix, and nanoparticle uptake. This easily manufactured tumor platform can be used for novel nanoparticle refinement focused on optimizing nanoparticle features such as size, shape, and functionalization method. This can yield ideal nanoparticles with properties that facilitate increased transport within the tumor microenvironment, leading to more effective nanoparticle-based treatments for cancer including nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.

Key words

Tumor engineering Microfluidics Nanoparticle transport Tumor microenvironment Drug delivery 



Funding for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award CBET 0955072 and 0933571, the National Institutes of Health Grant R211R21CA158454-01A1. A special thanks to Rhys J Michna for his help in solidworks depictions of the 3D platform.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Tech- Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and SciencesBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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