Development of a human 3D tumor microenvironment-on-chip model for personalized drug testing on a pancreatic adenocarcinoma

[Translate to English:] Namen,


Innovative human pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) models for personalized drug testing are important to address the high need for therapy in this area.

Currently, pancreatic adenocarcinoma belongs to the tumor types with the lowest five-year survival rate. A key reason for the failure of new drug candidates is the lack of predictive cell and animal models in preclinical research. In addition to their 3D architecture, pancreatic tumors are also characterized by great cellular heterogeneity. The tumor microenvironment is highly fibrotic and highly inflammatory and contributes significantly to tumor progression and the development of resistance to existing therapies. The GOAL of this project was to establish a new microfluidically supported human 3D PDAC co-culture model platform with integrated blood vessel cell components in a biochip to identify new personalized therapeutic approaches. The 3D co-cultures are composed of pancreatic tumor cells and stellate cells obtained from the primary tumor.

The development of the PDAC model was carried out on a biochip with a special, integrated membrane. This membrane contains microcavities with a diameter of 800m to immobilize complex tissue models such as tumor spheroids under microfluidic culture conditions. A membrane in a biochip chamber can hold up to 25 spheroids in parallel. In addition, such a biochip chamber contains a second flat membrane above it for the establishment of blood vessel structures. Two culture chambers are provided on one biochip, allowing up to 50 PDAC spheroids to be examined in parallel.