Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Rajaram, Narasimhan

Committee Member/Reader

Quinn, Kyle


When cancer metastasizes from a primary tumor site to secondary site through the bloodstream or lymph, the cancer becomes more difficult to treat. For this reason, it is vital to study what indicates the metastatic potential of a tumor. Current research has shown that cell lines with high metastatic potential display increased levels of metabolic adaptability over their nonmetastatic counterparts after undergoing hypoxic conditions. One method of assessing this adaptability is to measure the concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the cells while undergoing oxidative stress. In highly adaptable metastatic cells, an increase of ROS buildup within the cells will lead to expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1), which could be affected differently by both chronic and intermittent hypoxia. Although some studies analyze the effect of reoxygenation post-hypoxia, not much is known about ROS generation during hypoxia. Over the course of this study, it was found that ROS are generated in higher quantities within the metastatic 4T1 cells compared to nonmetastatic 67NR cells under chronic hypoxia. Results of this study also indicated that 4T1 cells produce ROS in higher quantities under low nutrient conditions, and 67NR cells produce slightly higher quantities of ROS under intermittent hypoxia. These results suggest that, in addition to metabolic plasticity, 4T1 cells can modulate ROS levels to encourage metastasis through the HIF-1α pathway.


Reactive Oxygen Species, Hypoxia, Metastasis, HIF, Fluorescence, Breast Cancer