Recapitulated Crosstalk between Cerebral Metastatic Lung Cancer Cells and Brain Perivascular Tumor Microenvironment in a Microfluidic Co-Culture Chip

Hyunho Kim, Jason K. Sa, Jaehoon Kim, Hee Jin Cho, Hyun Jeong Oh, Dong Hee Choi, Seok Hyeon Kang, Da Eun Jeong, Do Hyun Nam, Hakho Lee, Hye Won Lee, Seok Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), which affects the brain, is fatal and resistant to anti-cancer therapies. Despite innate, distinct characteristics of the brain from other organs, the underlying delicate crosstalk between brain metastatic NSCLC (BM-NSCLC) cells and brain tumor microenvironment (bTME) associated with tumor evolution remains elusive. Here, a novel 3D microfluidic tri-culture platform is proposed for recapitulating positive feedback from BM-NSCLC and astrocytes and brain-specific endothelial cells, two major players in bTME. Advanced imaging and quantitative functional assessment of the 3D tri-culture model enable real-time live imaging of cell viability and separate analyses of genomic/molecular/secretome from each subset. Susceptibility of multiple patient-derived BM-NSCLCs to representative targeted agents is altered and secretion of serpin E1, interleukin-8, and secreted phosphoprotein 1, which are associated with tumor aggressiveness and poor clinical outcome, is increased in tri-culture. Notably, multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammatory responses, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, and cancer metastasis are activated in BM-NSCLC through interaction with two bTME cell types. This novel platform offers a tool to elucidate potential molecular targets and for effective anti-cancer therapy targeting the crosstalk between metastatic cancer cells and adjacent components of bTME.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2201785
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NRF of Korea (2020R1A2B5B03002005) and the KEIT grant funded by the MSIT of Korea (No. 20009125). J.K.S. was supported by grants of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project by KHIDI of Korea (HI22C0823) and the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF of Korea (2020M3A9D8038658).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • brain perivascular tumor microenvironment
  • cerebral metastatic lung cancer cells
  • microfluidic co-culture chip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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