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Metastasis is a destructive oncological process that allows for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to enter the bloodstream and begin tumor growth in another area of the body. The mechanisms of metastasis are commonly studied, yet there are many intricacies of the process that remain misunderstood. To eliminate the possibility of extraneous variables, analyzing metastatic cancers in a controlled environment is necessary.

The BioFlux system mimics the physiological conditions of the vasculature, making it the ideal tool for oncological research. With the ability to control shear flow, temperature, and pressure, the system can replicate how cancer cells behave during metastasis. The system can be used for several other oncological analyses, including cancer cell behavior during EMT and homing, screening different types of tumor cells for invasive phenotypes, screening compounds to inhibit or otherwise affect invasion and or angiogenesis, or to study chemotaxis of circulating cells in response to stimuli or inhibition.

(A) Percentage of PC-R1 FT7 rolling cells that breached HUVEC stimulated with IL-1β was measured over time under shear flow. (B) breached PC-R1 FT7 cells (green) within HUVEC monolayers were imaged with a confocal fluorescent microscope (Dimitroff et al., 2013).
MCF-7 cells (alone and LPS-treated THP-1) adherent to HUVEC layers under shear flow (Khismatullin et al., 2014).

Key BioFlux Advantages For Metastasis Studies