Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Song, Young Hye


Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest diseases because it is hard to identify in its early stages, has high chemoresistance, and early metastasis. Because of these traits, it is often associated with perineural invasion (PNI), where the cancer travels to the nervous system. Schwann cells (SC) are associated with both metastasis and PNI when activated. The purpose of this study was to determine if and how pancreatic tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (TEVs) can activate SC in PNI. This experiment was performed by embedding Schwann cells in a hydrogel to model the tumor microenvironment and treating them with isolated extracellular vesicles (EVs) from pancreatic cancer and normal pancreatic cells. SC activation was determined using immunofluorescence staining. Four targeted EV cargos were investigated: tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF��), interleukin 1 beta (IL1��), interleukin 6 (IL6), and interleukin 8 (IL8), and it was discovered that IL8 was upregulated in the TEVs. SC-TEV co-cultures showed an increase in SC activation, and IL8 inhibition reduced the activation. This indicates that pancreatic TEV IL8 contributes to SC activation and potentially PNI.


Cell Culture, extracellular vesicles, pancreatic cancer, schwann cells

Available for download on Friday, April 25, 2025