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Journal Article

Perspective: flicking with flow: can microfluidics revolutionize the cancer research?


Das,  Tamal
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Chakraborty, S., & Das, T. (2013). Perspective: flicking with flow: can microfluidics revolutionize the cancer research? Biomicrofluidics, 7(1): 011811, pp. 1-20. doi:10.1063/1.4789750.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-7200-C
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Cancer research, in its all facets, is truly interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across the fields of fundamental and applied sciences, as well as biomedical engineering. In recent years, microfluidics has been applied successfully in cancer research. There remain, however, many elusive features of this disease, where microfluidic systems could throw new lights. In addition, some inherent features of microfluidic systems remain unexploited in cancer research. In this article, we first briefly review the advancement of microfluidics in cancer biology. We then describe the biophysical aspects of cancer and outline how microfluidic system could be useful in developing a deeper understanding on the underlying mechanisms. We next illustrate the effects of the confined environment of microchannel on cellular dynamics and argue that the tissue microconfinement could be a crucial facet in tumor development. Lastly, we attempt to highlight some of the most important problems in cancer biology, to inspire next level of microfluidic applications in cancer research.