Over the past 10 years, our ability to realistically model the critical biological steps in disease have dramatically improved, due in part to the advances in microfluidic technologies. In particular, the capabilities to create realistic 3D microenvironments, including microvascular perfusion, have led to in vitro models for disease that offer, in many respects, considerable advantages over in vivo experiments. In this talk, I will present some recent advances in creating microvascular networks in vitro and using these to model the successive stages of metastatic cancer, especially in the context of immunotherapies and organ-specific models of metastasis.
A primary objective of Kamm’s research has been the application of fundamentals in fluid and solid mechanics to better understand essential biological and physiological phenomena. Past studies have addressed issues in the respiratory, ocular and cardiovascular systems. More recently, his attention has focused on the molecular mechanisms of cellular force sensation, cell population dynamics, and the development of new microfluidic platforms for the study of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, especially in the context of metastatic cancer. This cumulative work has led to over 280 refereed publications. Recognition for his contributions is reflected in Kamm’s election as Fellow to AIMBE, ASME, BMES, AAAS and the IFMBE. He is also the 2010 recipient of the ASME Lissner Medal and the 2015 recipient of the Huiskes Medal, both for lifetime achievements, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.