The Microtechnology, Medicine and Biology Lab (MMB Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) is interested in applying the lab’s technologies to cancer.
Led by David J. Beebe, Editorial Board member for Integrative Biology, the team works across disciplines and disease boundaries to create solutions that can be translated into widespread use.
The lab has selected their top cancer-related articles published recently in Integrative Biology. Please see below what they say about each article – all free to access for the next 4 weeks!*
1) Human breast cancer invasion and aggression correlates with ECM stiffening and immune cell infiltration
I. Acerbi, L. Cassereau, I. Dean, Q. Shi, A. Au, C. Park, Y. Y. Chen, J. Liphardt, E. S. Hwang and V. M. Weaver
Mary Regier- This paper supports other articles pointing out the importance of microenvironmental factors including cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and matrix mechanics and architecture and their intratumoral heterogeneity in breast cancer behavior and patient prognosis. Our selection highlights the variety of microenvironmental factors that influence cancer progression and spread.
2) Marker-free detection of progenitor cell differentiation by analysis of Brownian motion in micro-wells
F. Sekhavati, M. Endele, S. Rappl, A.-K. Marel, T. Schroeder and J. O. Rädler
Patrick Ingram- In this paper, the authors present a marker-free, high throughput, and single cell compatible method to monitor granulocyte-macrophage progenitor differentiation via the changes in Brownian motion as the cells differentiate into adherent macrophages. Though not investigated directly, these same methods can be further applied to monitor molecular binding events in living cells, allowing the high throughput study of membranes and surface receptors in heterogeneous cancer cell populations. Sekhavati et al. provide a compelling proof-of-concept that uses ubiquitous and accessible physics to readout underlying biological processes.
3) A cell-ECM screening method to predict breast cancer metastasis
L. E. Barnery, E. C. Dandley, L. E. Jansen, N. G. Reich, A. M. Mercurio and S. R. Peyton
José A. Jiménez-Torres- In this paper, the authors presented an in vitro biomaterial system to investigate the role of cancer-cell integrin binding to different ECM matrices inspired by in vivo secondary tissue targets of breast cancer metastasis. Their experiments highlight the heterogeneity of breast cancer and how this is an obstacle in the clinical success of integrin-targeted therapeutics.
4) Quantitative multivariate analysis of dynamic multicellular morphogenic trajectories
D. E. White, J. B. Sylvester, T. J. Levario, H. Lu, J. T. Streelman, T. C. McDevitt and M. L. Kemp
Brian Johnson- An interesting paper tackling a challenge problem; White et al. explore multi-cellular interactions in morphological development using a network analysis approach that enables the quantitative comparison of experimental data to computational modelling simulations. While the technique was applied to characterize emergent spatial phenotypic patterns found in developing tissues, these same principles could be used to tease apart and model the extensive spatial heterogeneity found in the tumour microenvironment of patient derived samples.
We hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as we did.