Cancer Cells Under Shear Stress

Cancer cells with high metastatic potential can pass through the endothelial cell barrier of a blood or lymphatic vessel (intravasation). This transendothelial migration allows them to enter the blood stream and be transported to distant locations in the body. Once in the blood flow, these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are exposed to new environmental conditions, such as shear stress. These conditions change the cell's gene expression patterns, altering cell behavior and morphology.

Extravasation of CTCs at a distant site, which is a critical step for metastasis, is initialized by the rolling and adhesion of these cancer cells to the endothelium. Then, the cells transmigrate once again through the endothelium, where they start proliferating to form a secondary tumor.

Flow assays are conducted to understand the altered cancer cell behavior under shear stress. Analysis of the factors that guide intravasation, transendothelial migration, rolling and adhesion, and extravasation will give more insight into the mechanisms that underlie the metastatic cascade and open new possibilities for therapeutic targets.

Find Out More

Please find more detailed information about the planning, conduction, and data analysis of cell culture under flow assays here or download the whole "Cell Culture Under Flow" Application Guide as a PDF here.



ibidi Solutions for Shear Stress Assays

The ibidi Pump System is ideal for long-term cell culture under flow with defined shear stress values and is compatible with all µ-Slides with Luer adapters. It simulates defined continuous and pulsatile laminar flow, and oscillatory flow to study cells in a more physiological environment. It is optimal for rolling and adhesion assays, transmigration and invasion studies. Also, cells, spheroids, and organoids can be perfused for optimal nutrition.

ibidi provides a variety of Channel Slides with different geometries. The µ-Slide I Luer family have one channel for standard flow experiments and rolling and adhesion assays. The µ-Slide VI has 6 channels and can be used for parallel flow assays. Both are available with the ibidi Polymer Coverslip and the ibidi Glass Coverslip, plus different heights and coatings.

In the µ-Slide III 3D Perfusion, single cells, spheroids, or organoids can be cultivated in or on a gel layer or embedded in a 3D matrix. The special channel geometry allows for superfusion with a low flow rate, ensuring optimal oxygen and nutrient supply. This setup makes long-term cultivation possible for up to several weeks. Additionally, the thin coverslip bottom allows for high-resolution imaging.

The μ-Slide I Luer 3D allows for creating an endothelial barrier without the need of an artificial filter membrane. Endothelial cells can be seeded on a suitable gel matrix, such as Collagen I. After connecting the slide to a pump and applying defined shear stres, an in vivo-like endothelial barrier is created, which is useful for rolling and adhesion assays of transendothelial migration studies (e.g., of leukocytes).


Endothelial cells can be seeded on a suitable gel matrix, such as Collagen Type I.


Selected References

Microfluidic experiments mimicking tumor blood vessels using the ibidi Pump System and µ-Slide I 0.2 Luer with HUVECs

John, A., Robador, J. R., Vidal-Y-Sy, S., Houdek, P., Wladykowski, E., Gunes, C., Bolenz, C., Schneider, S. W., Bauer, A. T., & Gorzelanny, C. (2020). Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder Induces Endothelial Cell Activation and Hypercoagulation. Molecular Cancer Research. 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-19-1041
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Assembling of a blood brain barrier (BBB) in vitro system using the ibidi Pump System to check nanoparticles (for treatment of glioblastoma multiforme) for their ability to cross the barrier

Grillone, A., Battaglini, M., Moscato, S., Mattii, L., de Julián Fernández, C., Scarpellini, A., Giorgi, M., Sinibaldi, E., & Ciofani, G. (2019). Nutlin-loaded magnetic solid lipid nanoparticles for targeted glioblastoma treatment. Nanomedicine. 10.2217/nnm-2018-0436
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Measurement of the attachment of glioblastoma and breast cancer cells to endothelial cells under physiological blood flow using the ibidi Pump System and the µ-Slide I 0.6 Luer

Nguemgo Kouam, P., Bühler, H., Hero, T., & Adamietz, I. A. (2019). The increased adhesion of tumor cells to endothelial cells after irradiation can be reduced by FAK-inhibition. Radiation Oncology. 10.1186/s13014-019-1230-3
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