Current in vitro studies of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis are limited by the use of static 2D culture systems or 3D models that poorly reflect the pathological tumor microenvironment. While these systems have provided insight into tumor-inherent mechanisms of neovascularization, they are unable to couple local cellular response with specific biochemical and mechanical cues [1]. Interstitial flow plays an important role in regulating tumor growth; however, there are currently no in vitro cell culture models specifically designed to investigate the effect of fluid shear on tumorigenesis. By integrating tissue-engineering strategies with microfluidics and particle image velocimetry, we have developed a 3D in vitro cell culture model that allows the relationship between shear stress and tumor-endothelial cell cross-talk to be monitored. This research strategy will greatly improve our understanding of shear-stress mediated angiogenesis.

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