Cells and Forces: Development of Cell-Based Disease Models
  • Jennifer Hyunjong Shin Ph.D
  • SLS Colloquia / May 3rd 04:00 pm / BLDG 110 ROOM N104

Cells and physical forces are closely related to each other. Cells in our body respond sensitively to externally applied physical forces and cells also generate forces intracellularly. Pathological conditions such as cancer can be induced by the abnormality in the physical microenvironment, and their metastatic fate can be regulated by the physical state of the cells in the tumor mass. To understand the physiological behavior of the cells, it is crucial to develop pathologically relevant cell-based in vitro experimental models. We established strategies for both the 2D and 3D tumor models to elucidate the mechanism of cancer metastasis. First, we employed a 2D circular island to realize cancer metastasis in a simplified yet controlled manner to unravel the correlation between cellular kinematics and physical stresses. In the context of cancer metastasis, we first identified the active key factors that actively regulate the formation of the cellular aggregates, and quantified the physical forces that would prevent the dissemination to occur from the aggregates. We also developed spheroid-based 3D cancer model to study cancer metastasis. Based on recent findings on the significance of collective migration in cancer invasion, we suggest a scaffold-based strategy as an appropriate model method to form a tumor model that specifically demonstrates the collective invasion of cancer cells. For quantitative analyses, we utilized particle image velocimetry (PIV), traction force microscopy (TFM), and monolayer stress microscopy (MSM) along with conventional biochemical assays and other phenotyping tools, and identified the active remodeling of stresses during the scattering process.