This award aims to develop a perfusion device to study early stages of metastasis in brain, lung and liver tissue replacing the use of some mouse studies in cancer research.
Metastasis is responsible for over 90% of deaths in cancer patients. A range of in vitro and in vivo models have been developed to better understand metastasis but as tissue microenvironment is key for various metastatic stages in vivo models are often favoured. The studies include implanting cancerous cells, either cell lines or patient cells, into mice to determine where secondary tumours form. Large groups of mice are required as animals are culled at specific time points to assess the extent of cancer cell colonisation. Professor Darryl Overby will develop an “explant-on-chip” device, using surgically-resected tissue which maintains the tissue microenvironment. Cancer cells will then be perfused through the explant by sealing the tissue in a microchannel so cells enter the vasculature replicating early metastatic events.