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Mol Med Rep. 2009 Jan-Feb;2(1):29-31. doi: 10.3892/mmr_00000057.

A nylon net filter coated with ethanolamine groups traps micrometastatic cancer cells with high specificity.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, Department of Materials and Life Science, Seikei University, Tokyo 180-8633, Japan.


Techniques for cancer cell separation and retrieval from peripheral blood are not only used to prevent cancer metastasis, but also to understand its underlying mechanisms. We developed a surface-modified membrane with high specificity for cancer cells. Ethanolamine groups were introduced to the surface of the nylon net filter, and human colon cancer cell line Colo201 cells were suspended in peripheral blood derived from healthy volunteers. Subsequently, these blood samples were transmitted through 20 surface-modified nylon filters. The number of cancer and blood cells in the blood samples was calculated using flow cytometry before and after filtering. Nylon net filters coated with ethanolamine groups trapped approximately 90% of the Colo201 cells, while unmodified nylon net filters were unable to trap them. On the other hand, no significant differences were observed in the filtration rate of hematocyte components between the unmodified nylon net filter and the nylon net filter coated with ethanolamine groups. These data indicate that nylon net filters coated with ethanolamine groups are able to trap Colo201 cells at a higher specificity than unmodified nylon net filters, effectively isolating and removing them from the blood, and suggest the potential benefits of the prevention of metastasis, cancer assessment and examination technologies as essential pre-treatment strategies.

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