Macrophages commonly account for a significant mass fraction of tumors of various cancers and are
derived from circulating monocytes. While the monocytes can differentiate into either tumoricidal M1
macrophages or pro-tumor M2 macrophages, macrophages in the tumors are typically M2 polarized.
Our long-term goal is to develop a novel therapy for treating metastatic cancers through increasing
the population of M1 macrophages while decreasing the population of M2 macrophages in the
metastatic tumors. The overall objective of this application is to prove the concept of this therapy in
vitro and consequently lay a foundation for its further development by in vivo studies. Our specific
aims are to establish a protocol for preparing microdevice-monocyte complexes with desirable
properties and develop a microdevice formulation that allows effective killing of cancer cells. This
work is innovative in that microdevices are used for the first time to endow monocytes with an ability
to target cancer cells and promote the monocytes to differentiate into M1 macrophages.