In February, the postdoctoral scientist Franziska Linke joined the group of PI Dr. Wytske van Weerden within the Department of Urology at the Erasmus MC Rotterdam to work on the project “Building a multi-tissue microfluidics system of metastatic potential (BIOMEP)”, as part of the programme Human Measurement Models 2019: towards better human measurement models. The aim of the BIOMEP project is to establish a bioassay that allows to study the invasive potential of prostate cancer cells into different human healthy micro-tissues such as liver and bone. The fully humanized 3D microfluidics system will identify tumor cell and tissue factors that determine cell invasion into healthy tissues and therefore may guide metastasis-targeted drug development, support non-animal drug testing and may be transferable to other cancer types as well.
The BIOMEP project is a collaboration between Erasmus MC and InSphero AG (Schlieren, Switzerland) and is funded by the joined initiative of SGF, NWO Domain AES, ZonMw and Top Sector LSH. The project team consists of PI Dr Wytske van Weerden, Drs. Wilma Teubel, Dr. Franziska Linke (all Dept of Urology) and Dr. Martin E. v Royen (Dept of Pathology) from the Erasmus MC, and Dr. Olivier Frey (InSphero, Switzerland). They/we are dedicated to build a culture system that mimics invasion of circulating tumour cells into healthy organ tissues to allow research and drug testing in a faster and more clinically-reliable patient-based context.