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Title: High Shear Stresses under Exercise Condition Destroy Circulating Tumor Cells in a Microfluidic System
Authors: Regmi, Sagar
Fu, Afu
Luo, Kathy Qian
Keywords: Apoptosis
Cancer prevention
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Regmi, S., Fu, A., & Luo, K. Q. (2017). High Shear Stresses under Exercise Condition Destroy Circulating Tumor Cells in a Microfluidic System. Scientific Reports, 7, 39975-.
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are the primary targets of cancer treatment as they cause distal metastasis. However, how CTCs response to exercise-induced high shear stress is largely unknown. To study the effects of hemodynamic microenvironment on CTCs, we designed a microfluidic circulatory system that produces exercise relevant shear stresses. We explore the effects of shear stresses on breast cancer cells with different metastatic abilities, cancer cells of ovarian, lung and leukemic origin. Three major findings were obtained. 1) High shear stress of 60 dynes/cm2 achievable during intensive exercise killed more CTCs than low shear stress of 15 dynes/cm2 present in human arteries at the resting state. 2) High shear stress caused necrosis in over 90% of CTCs within the first 4 h of circulation. More importantly, the CTCs that survived the first 4 h-circulation, underwent apoptosis during 16–24 h of post-circulation incubation. 3) Prolonged high shear stress treatment effectively reduced the viability of highly metastatic and drug resistant breast cancer cells. As high shear stress had much less damaging effects on leukemic cells mimicking the white blood cells, we propose that intensive exercise may be a good strategy for generating high shear stress that can destroy CTCs and prevent cancer metastasis.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep39975
Schools: School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering 
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s) (Nature Publishing Group). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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