Solorio recipient of METAvivor early Career Award grant for novel platform to measure global metabolic activity in breast cancer cells

Cancer treatment screening typically involves use of a synthetic polymer-based substrate, which leads to undesired defects in cell cultures. But researchers at Purdue, including assistant professor Luis Solorio, have developed a biomimetic platform using magnetic actuators for in vitro cell seeding. The setup is compatible with multi-well plates and allows for high throughput, thereby reducing the timeline to develop more targeted cancer therapy. This innovative research was the recipient of a METAvivor Research Program Early Career Award.

The METAvivor Research Program was established in 2009 with the specific goal of funding stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC) research to one day transition MBC from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a decent quality of life.

Traditional actuators that cause the undesired defects in cell cultures are controlled by pressure or electromechanical forces, which do not accurately replicate natural cell environments. However, magnetic actuators as implemented in this novel technique are adaptable in both amplitude and frequency to apply strain that suspends cells over a gap between actuators. The system can now capture dynamic physiological conditions in 3D which results in high throughput and more accurate and effective cancer therapy. The full reserch paper, titled High Throughput Cancer Treatment Screenng with Magnetic Actuation Platform is available for viewing online through Advanced Funtional Materials journal.

Dr. Solorio joined the faculty at Purdue Univeristy as an assistant professor in 2016. His research focuses primarly on cancer research, typically breast cancer. some topics his lab works on include developing 3D tissue engineering platforms, characterizing injectable drug delivery and theranostic systems, and stduying the effect of cell and ECM heterogeneity on cancer progression.