Friday, 11 October 13h00 MSG-024 Bernal Institute

Interstitial Fluid Flow and Tumor Invasion


Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest brain cancers, with no curative treatments available and an average survival time of <15 months after diagnosis. This is due in part to the infiltrative nature of the disease and complex interactions of the tumor with the surrounding microenvironment. Invasion in the brain follows distinctive routes that correlate with interstitial and bulk flow pathways. In brain cancer, there is increased interstitial fluid flow, or fluid flow within the extracellular matrix between cells within the tissue. This increased fluid flow develops due to an increase in interstitial pressure in the tumor bulk interfacing with the relatively normal pressure of the surrounding brain tissue. This differential leads to fluid transport specifically across the invasive edge of the tumor where cells are prone to both interact with the surrounding brain tissue and to evade localised, transport-limited therapies. To examine how interstitial fluid flow affects the invasion of brain cancer cells, the Onco-engineering lab (Principal Investigator: Jennifer Munson) has developed in vitro tissue engineered models of the brain tumor microenvironment to examine tumor cell invasion under interstitial flow in vitro. The group also develops in vivo methods to manipulate flow in mice and to image flow in mice and in human and canine patients. The magnitudes of these interstitial flow and the effects of increasing flow rates on tumor cell invasion, and formation of autologous gradients of chemokines which are believed to elicit invasion will be discussed.  An overview of the Onco-engineering lab which develops methods to measure, model, and manipulate flows in brain and breast cancers will also be presented.



Caleb Stine is a graduate research assistant in the Onco-engineering Lab at Virginia Tech under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Munson, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering. He currently is enrolled in the Virginia-Tech Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science graduate program, and has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio University. His research focuses on the role of fluid flow magnitude in brain-related diseases such as glioblastoma. Specifically, he is interested in manipulating flow rates to observe effects on cell invasion through intravital imaging, in vitro experimentation, and computational modeling.

Tea/coffee will be available at 12h30
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