InvasiCell: Development of a novel device that can faithfully mimic the tumor microenvironment

InvasiCell: Development of a novel device that can faithfully mimic the tumor microenvironment

TEAM MEMBERS

Paris A. Skourides, Professor Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus

Neophytos Christodoulou, PostDoc Researcher Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus

Adonis Hadjigeorgiou, PhD Student Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus

InvasiCell is in its 2nd cycle at the Cyprus Seeds, developing a novel device and assay that will constitute a significant improvement over the most commonly used commercially available assays, which are used to study cancer progression and for potential new therapeutic agents. Specifically, InvasiCell is a 3D tumor microenvironment mimicking device that combines different features to accurately replicate the in vivo tumor microenvironment in vitro far better than its competitors without any additional equipment or treatment.

InvasiCell can provide researchers with an accessible, easy to use and cost-effective physiologically relevant model for the study of tumor cell behavior and metastasis.  InvasiCell will allow this to be carried out rapidly in vitro which will significantly speed up the rate of discovery for both biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets impacting cancer research globally. 

Importantly, InvasiCell, could also potentially impact drug discovery and development. By accurately replicating the tumor microenvironment, researchers would be able to test the efficacy of potential anti-cancer drugs in a more physiologically relevant setting, which could allow researchers to screen compounds for novel pharmacological agents but also test the efficacy of existing ones for precision medicine. Therefore, overall InvasiCell could increase the translational potential of in vitro studies and can lead to the development of more effective treatments for cancer patients.

The development of the proposed device will not only provide a useful tool to the scientific community for studying cancer progression in general but also can be used as an important diagnostic tool for cancer and provide an accurate drug screening platform for the development of anti-cancer medications.