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AIP Adv. 2012 Dec;2(4):42107. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Deterministic separation of cancer cells from blood at 10 mL/min.

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Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), Princeton Universtiy, Princeton, NJ, USA ; Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating clusters of cancer and stromal cells have been identified in the blood of patients with malignant cancer and can be used as a diagnostic for disease severity, assess the efficacy of different treatment strategies and possibly determine the eventual location of metastatic invasions for possible treatment. There is thus a critical need to isolate, propagate and characterize viable CTCs and clusters of cancer cells with their associated stroma cells. Here, we present a microfluidic device for mL/min flow rate, continuous-flow capture of viable CTCs from blood using deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) arrays. We show here that a DLD array device can isolate CTCs from blood with capture efficiency greater than 85% CTCs at volumetric flow rates of up to 10 mL/min with no effect on cell viability.

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