Microfluidic Organoid Cultures Derived from Pancreatic Cancer Biopsies for Personalized Testing of Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy

Daheui Choi, Alan M. Gonzalez-Suarez, Mihai G. Dumbrava, Michael Medlyn, Jose M. de Hoyos-Vega, Frank Cichocki, Jeffrey S. Miller, Li Ding, Mojun Zhu, Gulnaz Stybayeva, Alexandre Gaspar-Maia, Daniel D. Billadeau, Wen Wee Ma, Alexander Revzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Patient-derived cancer organoids (PDOs) hold considerable promise for personalizing therapy selection and improving patient outcomes. However, it is challenging to generate PDOs in sufficient numbers to test therapies in standard culture platforms. This challenge is particularly acute for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) where most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with non-resectable tumors and where patient tissue is in the form of needle biopsies. Here the development and characterization of microfluidic devices for testing therapies using a limited amount of tissue or PDOs available from PDAC biopsies is described. It is demonstrated that microfluidic PDOs are phenotypically and genotypically similar to the gold-standard Matrigel organoids with the advantages of 1) spheroid uniformity, 2) minimal cell number requirement, and 3) not relying on Matrigel. The utility of microfluidic PDOs is proven by testing PDO responses to several chemotherapies, including an inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase (GSKI). In addition, microfluidic organoid cultures are used to test effectiveness of immunotherapy comprised of NK cells in combination with a novel biologic. In summary, our microfluidic device offers considerable benefits for personalizing oncology based on cancer biopsies and may, in the future, be developed into a companion diagnostic for chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2303088
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 2 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • microfluidic device
  • pancreatic cancer
  • patient-derived organoid


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