Hypoxia is a critical microenvironment in tumor pathogenesis. There is a close relationship between hypoxia, tumor metastasis and poor prognosis. Hypoxia has been shown to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition and high levels of lactic acid production, through which cancer cells gain migratory capability. Here, we present a high-throughput microfluidic platform with a controlled oxygen environment to specifically monitor mesenchymal migration under hypoxic conditions. We found that, combined with a slightly alkaline microenvironment, such a platform can help to improve the efficiency of antimetastatic drugs. We also use this platform to study primary and rare cells from mice and demonstrate the correlation between on-chip results and in vivo outcome. This device may provide a new opportunity for biologists and clinicians to better perform assays that evaluate cancer cell behaviors related to metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas