The tumor microenvironment plays a critical role in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. However, models recapitulating the complex 3D structure, heterogeneous cell environment, and cell-cell interactions found in vivo are lacking. Herein, we report on a gravitational microfluidic platform (GMP) retrofitted with MEMS sensors, which is integrated with 3D nanofiber scaffold-aided tumoroid culture. The results showed that this GMP for tumoroid growth mimics the tumor microenvironment more precisely than static culture models of colon cancer, including higher drug resistance, enhanced cancer stem cell properties, and increased secretion of pro-tumor cytokines. In addition, the GMP includes integrated surface acoustic wave-based biosensing to monitor cell growth and pH changes to assess drug efficacy. Thus, this simple-to-use perfused GMP tumoroid culture system for in vitro and ex vivo studies may accelerate the drug development process and be a tool in personalized cancer treatment.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.