Recapitulation of complex transport and action of drugs at the tumor microenvironment using tumor-microenvironment-on-chip

Bumsoo Han, Chunjing Qu, Kinam Park, Stephen F. Konieczny, Murray Korc

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Targeted delivery aims to selectively distribute drugs to targeted tumor tissues but not to healthy tissues. This can address many clinical challenges by maximizing the efficacy but minimizing the toxicity of anti-cancer drugs. However, a complex tumor microenvironment poses various barriers hindering the transport of drugs and drug delivery systems. New tumor models that allow for the systematic study of these complex environments are highly desired to provide reliable test beds to develop drug delivery systems for targeted delivery. Recently, research efforts have yielded new in vitro tumor models, the so called tumor-microenvironment-on-chip, that recapitulate certain characteristics of the tumor microenvironment. These new models show benefits over other conventional tumor models, and have the potential to accelerate drug discovery and enable precision medicine. However, further research is warranted to overcome their limitations and to properly interpret the data obtained from these models. In this article, key features of the in vivo tumor microenvironment that are relevant to drug transport processes for targeted delivery were discussed, and the current status and challenges for developing in vitro transport model systems were reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Drug transport
  • Microfluidics
  • Nanoparticles
  • Stromal tissue
  • Targeted delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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