Lara Reid

Student: Lara Reid

Project: A Biomimetic Microfluidic Platform for Anti-tumor Drug Evaluation | View Poster (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Bioengineering

Advisor: Yaling Liu


Traditional 2D cell culture is not an ideal drug screening system because 2D culture alters tumor cell morphology, cellular function, and limits cell-to-cell contact. Thus, a drug screening system which more closely mimics the in vivo microenvironment in which tumor cells are found is necessary. To achieve this, we developed a biomimetic bilayer microfluidic device that can facilitate 3D anti-tumor drug screening, which allows for observation of numerous spheroids. Microfluidic devices were constructed using a glass piece with a linear basal channel overlaid with a semi-permeable membrane which attaches to an apical Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) piece with a Z-shaped channel. The semi-permeable membrane allows for drug and nutrient gradients across the spheroids, while preventing spheroid migration. Human colon cancer cells (HCT-116) were used for the tumor spheroids, and the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel was used as the drug of interest. High concentrations of endothelial cells (EC) were seeded onto the membrane to form a confluent EC monolayer in order to mimic a blood vessel. The channel within the microfluidic device spans a substantial distance ensuring a larger exchange area to further mimic an in vivo blood vessel-tumor model. Tumor spheroid-laden Matrigel was administered to the basal channel, and once cured, varying concentrations of Paclitaxel was administered to the apical channel to treat the tumor spheroids. Optical Coherence Tomography was used to determine the volumetric change of the tumors after drug treatment, and fluorescence microscopy with dead/live cell staining were used to assess the efficacy of Paclitaxel cancer treatment. 

About Lara Reid

Lara Reid is a senior Bioengineering major at Lehigh University with a focus in Biopharmaceutical Engineering. After graduation, she hopes to work in the bioengineering industry before pursuing a PhD in a related field. Lara began working as an undergraduate researcher in 2016 under the direction of Dr. Yaling Liu, whose work focuses on micro-engineering in biology and medicine. Lara is the treasurer of the Biomedical Engineering Society, has held positions as treasurer and academic chair in her sorority Alpha Omega Epsilon, and volunteers as a tutor at the Northampton County Prison. 

Lehigh Engineering Undergraduate Research Symposium

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