In a recently published study, Prof. Johannes A. Eble at the University of Münster investigated signaling between adjacent endothelial and breast cancer cells that may induce ectopic VE-cadherin expression in tumor cells.
Using evorion CellCity, the research team examined cellular communication between individual primary endothelial cells (HUVECs) and breast cancer cells (MCF7).
They encapsulated single cells and co-positioned them on the CellCity Array Chip in a physiologically relevant microenvironment. Long-term live-cell imaging analysis at single-cell resolution revealed a previously unknown time-dependent uptake by cancer cells of extracellular vesicles derived from endothelial cells.
In addition, the cancer cells underwent significant morphological changes and expressed common endothelial markers, like VE-cadherin, after interacting with the endothelial cells.