A microfluidic device was developed to simulate the dynamic conditions of the transvascular transport of nanoparticles. The device utilizes a microfluidic channel, filter paper, collagen gel—which represent the blood vessel, porous vessel wall, and interstitial matrix of the tumor, respectively. By controlling these components, the fluid-dynamic conditions of the tumor blood vessels can be simulated.
For the initial study, Durapore® filters with the nominal diameter of 0.22 μm and 5 mg/ml type 1 collagen gel were used. The transvascular transport parameters of the membrane for a model particle, 20 nm gold spheres, were similar to those of rabbit VX2 carcinoma model. Overall, this design allows for fundamental research into the fluid dynamic transport of particles inside different organs, cancer types and stages. To investigate the physiological conditions of cancer, future studies will include modification of the filter membranes with proteins as well as subsequent culturing of endothelial cells on the filter and tumor cells in the gel matrix. Through this device, we will be able to prescribe nanoparticle fluids for to obtain enhanced permeation and retention.