When people die of cancer, ninety percent do because the cancer cells had spread to other tissues. This is called metastasis, but we didn’t know how the cells managed to move.
We may now because researchers developed a tool allowing us to see the process. They created a 3-D collagen matrix within a micro chamber on a lab chip that resembles human tissue that surrounds cells. They then created an artificial blood vessel that runs through the matrix using human endothelial cells just like the ones that line real blood vessels. Next, they simulate the flow of blood by filling it with nutrient rich fluid. To this artificial tissue they added breast cancer cells either individually or in clumps. They were able to capture on video what happens next... More »