Parallel microfluidic chemosensitivity testing on individual slice cultures†
There is a critical unmet need to tailor chemotherapies to individual patients. Personalized approaches could lower treatment toxicity, improve the patient's quality of life, and ultimately reduce mortality. However, existing models of drug activity (based on tumor cells in culture or animal models) cannot accurately predict how drugs act in patients in time to inform the best possible treatment. Here we demonstrate a microfluidic device that integrates live slice cultures with an intuitive multiwell platform that allows for exposing the slices to multiple compounds at once or in sequence. We demonstrate the response of live mouse brain slices to a range of drug doses in parallel. Drug response is measured by imaging of markers for cell apoptosis and for cell death. The platform has the potential to allow for identifying the subset of therapies of greatest potential value to individual patients, on a timescale rapid enough to guide therapeutic decision-making.