Abstract: Microfluidics to Study Platelet-Mediated Circulating Tumor Cell Extravasation

90% of cancer related deaths result from metastasis, the spread of circulating tumor cells (CTC) to secondary organs. Metastasis is permitted through signaling pathways and cell adhesion molecules, facilitating the process of extravasation. Evidence is mounting that shows the vital role platelets play in extravasation by supplementing growth factors and shielding tumor cells from cytotoxic forces and shear stress. Understanding the role of shear stress and platelets on the extravasation of CTC’s can be achieved using a continuous flow microfluidic assay. Here we describe a microfluidic assay that will allow us to elucidate the key molecular mechanisms involved in CTC extravasation through the presence of platelets, varying levels of shear stress, and Defactinib, a chemotherapeutic drug. In further studies, this can be utilized to reduce CTC adhesion and prevent metastasis.