In This Section      
Print This Page

Promise and Progress - Lab On A Chip Shows How Cancer Spreads

Leading the Way Fall 2009 Winter 2010

Lab On A Chip Shows How Cancer Spreads

By: Valerie Mehl
Date: December 1, 2009

Nature Methods, March 18, 2009

Cancer spreads from organ to organ when cells break free from one site and travel to another. Understanding this process, known as metastasis, is critical for developing
ways to prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells.

Peter Searson, Ph.D., Reynolds Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering and director of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, led
a team of engineers who have developed a method to specifically measure detachment in individual cells.

The method, which uses lab-on-achip technology, allows researchers to observe and record the exact point when a cell responds to electrochemical cues in its environment and
releases from the surface upon which it is growing. Better knowledge of the biochemistry of cell detachment could point the way to better cancer therapies.

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.