Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Ian C. Schneider


Cell migration is essential during a variety of physiological events, and as such it has been extensively studied in an attempt to unravel the details of its mechanisms. Cells receive information from the environment and migrate accordingly. Within the last few decades, different studies have evaluated the effect of different types of signals and the way in which they regulate cell migration. However, cells do not respond to individual cues, but they are constantly receiving information from a variety of signals in vivo. One particular scenario in which the concerted action of multiple signals is thought to be relevant is during the early stages of cancer invasion and metastasis. Different studies suggest that the architecture of the tissue surrounding the tumor guides the migration of the cells to blood vessels in the vicinity, initiating the metastatic cascade. Other evidence suggests the role of a variety of chemokines that can also direct cancer cell invasion. In that regard, the main goal of this research is to analyze the response of a highly metastatic cell line to contact guidance and chemotactic signals when they are presented simultaneously. To achieve this purpose we develop 2 different platforms that combine microcontact printed surfaces with the Dunn chemotaxis chamber and an agarose sphere assay. Our results provide evidence to suggest that the synergy of these two signals increases the efficiency of cell migration during metastatic invasion.


Copyright Owner

Laura M. Lara-Rodriguez



File Format


File Size

218 pages