MEMS Seminar: Ultrasonic 3D Cell Culture for Solid Tumor Micro-Engineering

Nov 20

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Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Professor Martin Viklund

Abstract: In this talk I will present our recent research activities in solid tumor micro-engineering based on ultrasound-supported three-dimensional (3D) cell culture in a multi-well microplate, developed in my lab at the KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The method is gentle and can be used for producing various tissue-mimicking 3D structures in parallel. It is based on ultrasonic-standing-wave particle manipulation inside hundred micro-wells in the microplate. We analyze and optimize the driving parameters of the ultrasound transducer attached to the microplate, and we demonstrate the production of various micro-engineered models of solid tumors. We have primarily used cells from HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma and A498 renal carcinoma cell lines as building blocks in the tumor models, but we have also tested the method with fibroblasts, thyroid and melanoma cells. 

The solid tumor models are characterized on-chip by high-resolution 3D confocal and light-sheet microscopy compatible with think samples, and off-chip with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Furthermore, we have developed an image analysis-based method for cell counting and characterization in 3D, and we have studied protein expression in tumor models by FACS, comparing 2D and 3D cultures. The selected proteins for the analysis are relevant ligands for natural killer (NK) cell recognition. Our results show differences in protein expression levels between 2D and 3D cultures. This is of interest when optimizing future treatment protocols in NK cell-based cancer immuno-therapy.

Biosketch: Martin Wiklund is a professor in applied physics at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, but currently on sabbatical leave at Amherst College, USA. After undergraduate studies at LTH-Lund Institute of Technology, Lund, Sweden (M.Sc. in Engineering Physics, 1999; Profile: Biomedical Optics), Wiklund received a Ph.D. in Physics in 2004 from KTH-Royal Institute of Technology (Topic: Ultrasound-enhanced immunosassays). Between 2004 and 2005, Wiklund was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT), Berlin, Germany (Topic: Dielectrophoresis for cell handling). Since 2006 Wiklund works at the Dept. of Applied Physics, KTH, where he was promoted to full Professor in 2016. His research interests are in the fields of acoustofluidics and specifically in using bulk acoustic standing waves in miniaturized systems for applications in immunoassays and immunotherapy. His Google Scholar profile is found here: In addition to research, Wiklund is Program Director of the five-year degree program in Engineering Physics at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, and he teaches introductory physics and advanced ultrasound courses for several engineering programs at KTH.

Profile webpage at KTH:

Profile webpage at Amherst College: