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Maintenance of head and neck tumor on-chip: gateway to personalized treatment?

Bower, Ruth; Green, Victoria L.; Kuvshinova, Elena; Kuvshinov, Dmitriy; Karsai, Laszlo; Crank, Stephen T; Stafford, Nicholas D; Greenman, John


Ruth Bower

Elena Kuvshinova

Laszlo Karsai

Stephen T Crank

Nicholas D Stafford


Aim: Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are solid tumors with low overall survival (40–60%). In a move toward personalized medicine, maintenance of tumor biopsies in microfluidic tissue culture devices is being developed. Methodology/ results: HNSCC (n = 15) was dissected (5–10 mg) and either analyzed immediately or cultured in a microfluidic device (37°C) for 48 h. No difference was observed in morphology between pre- and postculture specimens. Dissociated samples were analyzed using trypan blue exclusion (viability), propidium iodide flow cytometry (death) and MTS assay (proliferation) with no significant difference observed highlighting tissue maintenance. Computational fluid dynamics showed laminar flow within the system. Conclusion: The microfluidic culture system successfully maintained HNSCC for 48 h, the culture system will allow testing of different treatment modalities with response monitoring. Lay abstract: Head and neck cancers often have a poor treatment outcome. In order to study the response of the tissue, a miniaturized culture system has been developed to keep a small piece of tumor alive. In the current study, we show that small pieces of cancer tissue can be maintained in the system, using tissue structure and viability of single cells as a guide. In future work, patient equivalent treatments can be applied to these microculture systems to investigate individual patient tumor responses, which could help to guide treatment selection.


Bower, R., Green, V. L., Kuvshinova, E., Kuvshinov, D., Karsai, L., Crank, S. T., …Greenman, J. (2017). Maintenance of head and neck tumor on-chip: gateway to personalized treatment?. Future Science OA, 3(2), FSO174.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 7, 2017
Publication Date 2017-05
Deposit Date Mar 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Future Science OA
Print ISSN 2056-5623
Electronic ISSN 2056-5623
Publisher Future Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages FSO174
Keywords Head and neck cancer, Microfluidic, Tissue culture, Tumour
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Future science OA, 2017, v.3, issue 2


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