376319 The Effects of Fluid Shear Stress on Cancer Stem Cells

Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 10:36 AM
201 (Hilton Atlanta)
Ursula L. Triantafillu, Ria C. Domier, David A. Dozier and Yonghyun (John) Kim, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Despite improvement in treatment options, understanding more about the disease mechanisms is an important step in cancer treatment. It has been theorized that cancer stem cells play an important role in patients undergoing relapse. As a growing theory, it is important to understand more about these cancer stem cells and how they are affected by different environment. The physical environment that cancer stem cells experience can lead to various cell signaling. Conventional concepts from chemical engineering such as fluid flow can be used to model the external effect that cancer cells experience. Fluid flow and fluid shear stress results within the body especially within the blood stream of patients undergoing metastasis where cancer cells detach from the primary tumor and enter the blood stream as circulating tumor cells to form the secondary tumor. This project simulates the fluid shear stress experienced by both circulating tumor cells and individual cancer cells in the vascular system of the human body. We developed a cost-effective microfluidic system to test the effects of fluid shear stress on breast cancer cells (MCF7 and MDA-MB-231), glioblastoma cells (U87-MG), and leukemia cells (KG-1α). Physiological fluid shear stresses of 5, 20, and 60 dyne/cm2 were tested. Cancer stem cell traits were observed under shear stress by testing the expression of cancer stem cell markers. Results on cancer stem cell viability and cancer stem cell marker expression under fluid shear stress conditions will be presented, and the implications of these results on circulating tumor cells and metastasis will be discussed.

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