Three-dimensional (3-D) tissue modeling is an emerging field of investigation to elucidate tumor metastasis, cellular and tissue architectures and forces, rational drug design, and in vitro drug testing. In an academic-industry collaborative project in the Rosa-Molinar laboratory, we are using correlative in-resin volume electron microscopy to study nanoscale cellular components in 3-D tissues models, such as in vitro organoid and organ-on-chip, that simulate in vivo interactions between brain tumor and non-brain tumor cells. The aim of the work is to identify and describe the spatial-temporal expression of inflammatory mediators and infiltration of inflammatory cells within a brain tumor microenvironment. We are specifically interested in studying "tumor-to-tumor" metastasis and concomitantly resolving several critical shortcomings in the above-mentioned emerging technologies, specifically, reproducing non-tumor and tumor in vivo brain microenvironment parameters in vitro, reproducing accurate brain cellular architecture and forces, and providing real-time 3-D visualization capability.
Mentor: Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, Ph.D.
Mentor’s Academic Department: Pharmacology and Toxicology, KU-Lawrence
Academic year joined the NS program: 2017