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Engineered fluidic systems to understand lymphatic cancer metastasis


Greenlee JDJoshua D , King MRMichael R . Biomicrofluidics. 2020 1 28; 14(1). 011502


The majority of all cancers metastasize initially through the lymphatic system. Despite this, the mechanisms of lymphogenous metastasis remain poorly understood and understudied compared to hematogenous metastasis. Over the past few decades, microfluidic devices have been used to model pathophysiological processes and drug interactions in numerous contexts. These devices carry many advantages over traditional 2D systems, allowing for better replication of microenvironments. This review highlights prominent fluidic devices used to model the stages of cancer metastasis via the lymphatic system, specifically within lymphangiogenesis, vessel permeability, tumor cell chemotaxis, transendothelial migration, lymphatic circulation, and micrometastases within the lymph nodes. In addition, we present perspectives for the future roles that microfluidics might play within these settings and beyond.