Micropump System for Breast Cancer Cell Migration Study

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Faculty Advisor
Jung Yul Lim
Contact Email
Potential UCARE Research Position?
Start Date
Paid or Volunteer
Paid by UCARE funding
Hours Per Week
Acceptable Undergraduate Majors
Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, other engineering majors

Fluid flow-induced shear stress environment is an important regulatory cue in breast cancer cell migration and resultant metastasis. For example, interstitial flow from elevated pressures in tumors has been implicated in breast cancer cell migration. Despite the important role of flow situation in regulating these processes, the mechanical to biochemical signal transduction (mechanotransduction) pathways in the cancer cell remains to be elucidated. Subjecting cancer cells to these biophysical cues in a systematic way could reveal the potential triggers of metastasis and mechanisms of tumor growth. Currently, model systems for cancer mechanotransduction studies lack the capability to mimic the interstitial flow environment in tumors. This UCARE project aims to provide a more versatile and biomimicking system to study the breast cancer cell response to flow via integrating a micropump with a tissue model. As a first step, the micropump flow rate will be characterized and related to input voltage. After a baseline characterization is achieved, integration and testing in a tissue mimicking system will be expected. Finally, the research experience will be rounded out with a simple breast cancer cell mechanotransduction experiment design informed by a brief literature search. Applicant is expected to have basic familiarity with engineering measurements, electronic circuits, and computer-aided design.

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