Using Microfluidic Models to Determine the Effects of CD151 on Metastasis

Mentors:  Anderson, Dziubla, Hilt

Metastasis is the cause of 90 % of cancer related deaths, and one protein that has been associated with metastasis is CD151. CD151 is a tetraspanin that, while present on all cells, is up regulated in cancers with poor prognoses. However, literature is conflicting about the role of CD151 in metastasis due to the fact that in vivo models have poor visualization and low control over variables, and until recently, many in vitro techniques have not been able to mimic the environment inside of a blood vessel. Therefore, it has been impossible to run studies to fully examine the effects of CD151 on metastasis. With the employment of microfluidics, it has been possible to study this phenomenon to gain greater understanding of this process. This project aims to have students utilize modern microfluidic assays for studying the effects of CD151 on metastasis. Students will utilize microscopy imaging techniques, cell culture, and microfabrication processes in order to study this phenomenon.