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Biomed Microdevices. 2009 Aug;11(4):883-92. doi: 10.1007/s10544-009-9305-9.

Microdevice for the isolation and enumeration of cancer cells from blood.

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  • 1Institute of Microelectronics, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 11 Science Park Road, Singapore Science Park II, Singapore 117685, Singapore.


Cancer metastasis is the main attribute to cancer-related deaths. Furthermore, clinical reports have shown a strong correlation between the disease development and number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood of cancer patients. Here, we present a label-free microdevice capable of isolating cancer cells from whole blood via their distinctively different physical properties such as deformability and size. The isolation efficiency is at least 80% for tests performed on breast and colon cancer cells. Viable isolated cells are also obtained which may give further insights to the understanding of the metastatic process. Contrasting with conventional biochemical techniques, the uniqueness of this microdevice lies in the mechanistic and efficient means of isolating viable cancer cells in blood. The microdevice has the potential to be used for routine monitoring of cancer development and cancer therapy in a clinical setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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