Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Nanoscale Science and Engineering


Nanoscale Engineering

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 37 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair


Committee Members

Scott A Tenenbaum, James K Williams, Yubing Xie, Hassaram Bakhru


Cancer, Collagen, Extracellular Matrix, Metastasis, NANIVID, Tumor Microenvironment, BioMEMS, Nanomedicine, Tumors, Cell migration

Subject Categories

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Nanoscience and Nanotechnology


Most cancer-related deaths are attributed to metastasis. The tumor microenvironment is a complex environment which is not fully understood. The Nano Intravital Device (NANIVID) is a versatile, biocompatible device that allows for the manipulation of the tumor microenvironment in vitro and in vivo, providing a platform to study various aspects of tumor progression. The purpose of this study is to modify the NANIVID to resemble the tumor microenvironment in order to allow for a seamless transition from the in vivo environment into the engineered environment within the NANIVID. This engineered microenvironment will promote cell migration and cell capture. It has been shown that metastatic cells respond to a chemotactic gradient created by Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)[1]. Thus far, attempts at actual capture of these metastatic cells through the use of the NANIVID have been sporadic and not reproducible. By utilizing electrostatically spun microfibers, which mimic the size of fibers within the natural tumor microenvironment, as well as incorporating collagen, which is the most prevalent extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in this environment, the cells will be able to follow the gradient released by the NANIVID in a seamless manner. Cells will be collected to validate this platform in an in vitro system and demonstrate the potential use of this platform in vivo.