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Single-Cell-Derived Tumor-Sphere Formation and Drug-Resistance Assay Using an Integrated Microfluidics

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journal contribution
posted on 31.05.2019, 00:00 by Long Pang, Jing Ding, Yuxin Ge, Jianglin Fan, Shih-Kang Fan
Considerable evidence points to cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) as responsible for promoting progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. Without damage to the cell biological properties, single-cell-derived tumor-sphere is encouraging options for CSCs identification and studies. Although several single cell-based microfluidic methods have been developed for CSCs studies, clarifying liaison between the biomechanics of cells (such as size and deformability) and stem (such as tumor-sphere formation and drug resistance) remains challenging. Herein, we present a platform of integrated microfluidics for the analysis of single-cell-derived tumor-sphere formation and drug resistance. Tumor-spheres derived from different biomechanics (size and/or deformation) single-cells could be formed efficiently using this device. To demonstrate the microfluidic-platform capability, a proof-of-concept experiment was implemented by evaluating single-cell-derived sphere formation of single glioblastoma cells with different biomechanics. Additionally, a course of chemotherapy to study these single-cell-derived spheres was determined by coculture with vincristine. The results indicate that tumor cell biomechanics is associated with single-cell-derived spheres formation; that is, smaller and/or more deformable tumor cells are more stem-like defined by the formation of single-cell-derived spheres than more prominent and/or lesser deformable tumor cells. Also, tumor-spheres derived from single small and/or more deformable tumor cell have higher drug resistance than more prominent and/or less deformable tumor cells. Our device offers a new approach for single-cell-derived sphere formation according to tumor cell different biomechanical properties. Furthermore, it offers a new method for CSC identification and downstream analysis on a single-cell level.