(184a) Effects of Hypoxic, Aligned Collagen Gels on Sarcoma Cell Proliferation and Invasion Conference: AIChE Annual MeetingYear: 2016Proceeding: 2016 AIChE Annual MeetingGroup: Liaison FunctionsSession: Undergraduate Research Forum II Time: Monday, November 14, 2016 - 12:30pm-12:45pm Authors: Tang, V. Orientation of collagen fibers has proven to affect cell proliferation and adhesion to in vitro scaffold. More understanding of this effect on malignant cancers, like sarcoma, is desirable, especially under hypoxic conditions that many sarcoma tumor masses possess. Here, we evaluate the consequences of three-dimensional aligned collagen I fibers in extracellular matrix (ECM) on sarcoma cell proliferation and invasion in hypoxic regions. Applying a unidirectional compression on collagen gel has shown to increase the degree of fiber alignment, so that mimics the natural ECM orientation in tumors. By modulating the cell number encapsulated in gels, as well as the gel height, we can alter the oxygen diffusion rate and generate hypoxic regions within this in vitro model. To analyze sarcoma cell behavior, we culture individual sarcoma cells and small mice tumor grafts in hypoxic, aligned collagen gels and compare with their randomly oriented counterparts in atmospheric conditions. The topographical cues of ECM, such as collagen architecture, influence the cancer cell proliferation and motility through altering cell-fiber interaction. From this we further study collagen modifiers/cross-linkers as well as focal adhesion kinase, as they influence cancer proliferation in the oxygen-extracellular matrix (ECM) tumor microenvironment. We show corresponding factors that correlate with the proliferative response of sarcoma cells in this truly physiologically mimicking platform.