Microfluidics meets 3D cancer cell migration

Pranav Mehta, Zaid Rahman, Peter ten Dijke*, Pouyan E. Boukany

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


An early step of metastasis requires a complex and coordinated migration of invasive tumor cells into the surrounding tumor microenvironment (TME), which contains extracellular matrix (ECM). It is being appreciated that 3D matrix-based microfluidic models have an advantage over conventional in vitro and animal models to study tumor progression events. Recent microfluidic models have enabled recapitulation of key mechanobiological features present within the TME to investigate collective cancer cell migration and invasion. Microfluidics also allows for functional interrogation and therapeutic manipulation of specific steps to study the dynamic aspects of tumor progression. In this review, we focus on recent developments in cancer cell migration and how microfluidic strategies have evolved to address the physiological complexities of the TME to visualize migration modes adapted by various tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-697
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • cancer-associated fibroblasts
  • cell migration
  • interstitial flow
  • microfluidics
  • tumor microenvironment


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