The imbalance in the gut microbiome plays a vital role in the progression of many dis-eases, including cancer, due to increased inflammation in the body. Since gut microbiome-induced inflammation can serve as a novel therapeutic strategy, there is an increasing need to identify novel approaches to investigate the effect of inflammation instigated by gut microbiome on cancer cells. However, there are limited biomimetic co-culture systems that allow testing of the causal relationship of the microbiome on cancer cells. Here we developed a microfluidic chip that can simulate the inter-action of the gut microbiome and cancer cells to investigate the effects of bacteria and inflammatory stress on cancer cells in vitro. To test the microfluidic chip, we used colorectal cancer cells, as an increased microbiome abundance has been associated with poor outcomes in colorectal cancer. We cultured colorectal cancer cells with Bacillus bacteria or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a purified bacterial membrane that induces a significant inflammatory response, in the microfluidic device. Our results showed that both LPS and Bacillus significantly accelerated the growth of colorectal cancer cells, therefore supporting that the increased presence of certain bacteria promotes cancer cell growth. The microfluidic device included in this study may have significant implications in identifying new treatments for various cancer types in the future.
gut microbiome, inflammation, microfluids, cancer
Kang, Young Bok Abraham; Mittal, Ekansh; and Cupp, Grace, "Simulating the Effect of Gut Microbiome on Cancer Cell Growth Using a Microfluidic Device" (2023). Faculty Publications - Biomedical, Mechanical, and Civil Engineering. 124.
Originally published in Sensors 2023, 23(3), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23031265