CORDIS - EU research results

deCiphering tHE chemo-mechanical CrosstalK between Macrophages And Tumor cElls

Project description

Crosstalk between macrophages and cancer cells

Macrophages are key immune cells responsible for digesting foreign substances, pathogens and cancer cells. Understanding how these cells migrate within tumours in response to extracellular cues is paramount for harnessing their immunotherapeutic power. To address this, the EU-funded CHECKMATE project will investigate the influence of chemical and mechanical signals on macrophage migration. Scientists will employ 3D scaffolds and tumour aggregates to monitor macrophage migration following stimulation with different growth factors and chemokines. They will also apply mechanical stress and try to recapitulate variable oxygen and glucose conditions. The results will help paint a more detailed picture of macrophage activation, migration and function in cancer.


Pietro Mascheroni received his training in applied mathematics and mechanics in Italy and has carried out his research in the United States and in Germany. His work lies at the interface between applied mathematics and biology and has been published in prominent journals of the field. He is requesting funding for two years to work with Giovanni Cappello and join his group at LIPhy Grenoble, France. The scientific aim of the project is to improve the understanding of macrophage response to external cues, with the final goal of drawing new insights into the mechanisms of action of immunotherapies. The action will investigate the influence of chemical and mechanical signals on macrophage migration, analyzing their respective importance in determining cell behavior. Taking advantage of the host laboratory’s expertise and facilities, dynamic light scattering will be employed to monitor macrophage migration in 3D scaffolds and tumor aggregates. Macrophages will be stimulated by using different growth factors and chemokines, under variable oxygen and glucose culturing conditions. Mechanical stress will be applied using microfluidic tools and exploiting the osmotic action of Dextran on the extracellular matrix. Relying on the applicant’s expertise, theoretical models based on the active gel theory will be developed to assist the understanding of experimental results. Throughout the project the medical implications of the research will be considered, by taking advantage of collaborations with clinicians of partner institutions. The training program of the action is exhaustive and will allow the researcher to grow as a world-class leader in this field, which is fundamental in healthcare for the benefit of society. He will develop a unique blend of knowledge and expertise, allowing him to communicate and work with applied mathematicians, biomedical scientists and clinicians in industry, health services and academia.


Net EU contribution
€ 196 707,84
38058 Grenoble

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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Rhône-Alpes Isère
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 196 707,84