Ruptured vasculature can leak fluids into surrounding tissue, a process called extravasation. These fluids, which can contain drug compounds, signaling molecules, or immune cells, could irritate organs, hindering functionality. Extravasation is also a step in cancer metastasis since cancerous cells from tumors can travel through vasculature. Drugs that prevent or treat extravasation are crucial for controlling disease progression and maintaining healthy vasculature.
Microfluidic models can both culture three-dimensional vascular networks and model extravasation through weakened, broken vessels. When cultured with multiple organs, these platforms can also show how leaked fluids affect organ functions, communications, and damage responses since the dynamic fluid flow accurately mimics physiological circulation from organ to organ.