A reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) monitoring system to study their role in cancer


The goal is to develop a novel 3D printed electrochemical tumour culture system to monitor ROS/RNS in primary and metastatic tumours in order to optimise new and existing cancer treatments for patients.

ROS/RNS are increased in cancer cells compared to normal cells and can promote proliferation and genomic changes to maintain an oncogenic phenotype [1]. Cancers with a propensity to become metastatic have a progressive increase in ROS, contributing to tumour angiogenesis and metastasis [2].

However, ROS/RNS can also induce cellular senescence, apoptosis and, in this capacity, are anti-tumourigenic. Furthermore, studies have shown that specific ROS/RNS can sensitise cancer cells to ROS-inducing chemotherapy agents (reviewed in [3, 4]). There are different types of ROS/RNS, which have variable in vivo half-lives and reactivity (Figure 1).

Due to the paradoxical role of ROS/RNS and limitations in current analytical techniques used to measure these species (i.e. approaches typically can only monitor one type of ROS/RNS, and are restricted to measurements over short timescales [5]) little is known about how different amounts and types of ROS/RNS influence the state of the tumour and response to chemotherapy.

Electroanalytical sensors are an attractive method to simultaneously monitor the production of a range of ROS/RNS over long timeframes from isolated tissues. Understanding how current cancer therapies alter ROS/RNS levels from ex vivo tumours, and how this affects the efficacy of treatment, will provide key insight into directing specific treatments for particular cancers.
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/19


  • Reactive oxygen species, Cancer