Newly developed cancer therapies must pass through a series of increasingly complex testing regimens before obtaining FDA approval as valid treatments. The costs of these tests increase rapidly as the physiological accuracy of the platform increases, from initial proof-of-concept in static tissue cultures, to treatment of animal models, and ultimately to human clinical trials. Three-dimensional engineered blood-perfused tumor models are becoming increasingly important as intermediate platforms for the study and treatment of cancer, as they are superior to static two-dimensional cultures in their reproduction of relevant physiological conditions and are inexpensive in comparison to animal models. Because of this, the design of well-characterized adaptable in vitro vascular tumor models has become a central objective of the emerging field of tumor engineering. Characterization of the flow within three-dimensional tumor models is critical for quantifying fluid shear stress and determining its role in pivotal tumor development processes such as tumor cell angiogenesis and metastasis. Ultimately, this knowledge will provide new avenues for therapeutic modulation of the tumor microenvironment.

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