ENGINEERING THE TUMOR VASCULAR NICHE
We are most broadly a "Tumor Engineering" lab, a term we use to refer to the application of tools and insights from the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to the understanding and treatment of cancer. We have a particular interest in developing advanced tissue-engineered models of the tumor vascular niche, which is a key regulator of tumor growth and therapy response. Our lab is ideally positioned within a joint Virginia Tech - Wake Forest program, providing the opportunity to collaborate with some of the world's top tissue engineers and cancer biologists. Some examples of this work are included below.
We leverage a combination of soft lithography, traditional machining, and 3D printing techniques to engineer 3D tissues for studies ranging from quantifying vascular sprouting dynamics in response to physical tissue cues or complex gradients, to maintenance of a stem cell phenotype within a perivascular niche.
PRIMING A TUMOR VASCULAR NICHE
We have recently leveraged our 3D vascular models to analyze the role of ultra-low levels of chronic inflammation in regulating tumor vascular phenotypes. Among our findings has been that these cues lead to a primed vascular state in which cells are more responsive to subsequent tumor angiogenic signals.
RECENT RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Megan C. Cox, Chengyu Deng, Lynette B. Naler, Chang Lu, Scott S. Verbridge
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2019, v. 5, (3), 1544-1552
Megan C. Cox, Andrea S. Kuliasha, Liwu Li, Scott S. Verbridge
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2017, v. 4, (2), 357-367
Ryan J. Mondschein, Akanksha Kanitkar, Christopher B. Williams, Scott S. Verbridge, Timothy E. Long
Biomaterials, 2017, v. 140, 170-188