In this study, three-dimensional (3D) biomimetic platforms were fabricated with guiding grating to mimic extracellular matrix topography, porous membrane to resemble the epithelial porous interface and trenches below to represent blood vessels as an in-vitro tissue microenvironment. Fabrication technologies were developed to integrate the transparent biocompatible polydimethylsiloxane platforms with preciously controlled dimensions. Cell migration behaviors of an immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cell line (NP460) and a nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line (NPC43) were studied on the two-dimensional and 3D platforms. The NP460 and NPC43 cells traversing through the porous membrane and migrating in the trenches below were studied by time-lapse imaging. Before traversing through the pores, NP460 and NPC43 cells migrated around the pores but NPC43 cells had a lower migration speed with less lamellipodia spreading. After traversing to trenches below, NPC43 cells moved faster with an alternated elongated morphology (mesenchymal migration mode) and round morphology (amoeboid migration mode) compared to only mesenchymal migration mode for NP460 cells. The cell traversing probability through porous membrane on platforms with 30 μm wide trenches below was found to be the highest when the guiding grating was perpendicular to the trenches below and the lowest when the guiding grating was parallel to the trenches below. This study shows important information on cell migration in complex 3D microenvironment with various dimensions and could provide insight for pathology and treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Accepted Manuscript; not the final Version of Record. You are encouraged to use the final Version of Record that, when published, will replace this manuscript and be freely available under a Creative Commons licence.