Lethal effects of mitochondria via microfluidics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tumor cells can respond to therapeutic agents by morphologic alternations including formation of tunneling nanotubes. Using tomographic microscope, which can detect the internal structure of cells, we found that mitochondria within breast tumor cells migrate to an adjacent tumor cell through a tunneling nanotube. To investigate the relationship between mitochondria and tunneling nanotubes, mitochondria were passed through a microfluidic device that mimick tunneling nanotubes. Mitochondria, through the microfluidic device, released endonuclease G (Endo G) into adjacent tumor cells, which we referred to herein as unsealed mitochondria. Although unsealed mitochondria did not induce cell death by themselves, they induced apoptosis of tumor cells in response to caspase-3. Importantly, Endo G-depleted mitochondria were ineffective as lethal agents. Moreover, unsealed mitochondria had synergistic apoptotic effects with doxorubicin in further increasing tumor cell death. Thus, we show that the mitochondria of microfluidics can provide novel strategies toward tumor cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10461
JournalBioengineering and Translational Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Bioengineering & Translational Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


  • breast tumor cell
  • cotton candy
  • microfluidics
  • mitochondria
  • refractive index
  • tomographic microscope
  • tunneling nanotube


Dive into the research topics of 'Lethal effects of mitochondria via microfluidics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this