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Anal Chem. 2019 Jan 2;91(1):1126-1132. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b04783. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

DNA-Oriented Shaping of Cell Features for the Detection of Rare Disseminated Tumor Cells.

Gao T1,2, Li L1, Chen T1, Shi L3, Yang Y2, Li G1,3.

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Center for Molecular Recognition and Biosensing, School of Life Sciences , Shanghai University , Shanghai 200444 , P. R. China.
Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular and Medical Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences , Nanjing Normal University , Nanjing 210023 , P. R. China.
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Life Sciences, Department of Biochemistry , Nanjing University , Nanjing 210093 , P. R. China.


Metastasis of tumors is the major cause of death in cancer patients. The efficient detection of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) is found to be critical for the early warning of tumor metastasis. However, it is technically difficult to identify DTC among circulation tumor cells (CTCs). In this work, we have proposed a DNA-oriented shaping strategy to convert the metastasis-associated feature of CTC into a dominant signature, making DTCs discernible. In detail, by performing the in situ DNA rolling circle amplification, invasive biomarkers at cell surface are specifically labeled with large amount of biotin-incorporated DNA strands. Therefore, isolation and detection processes of DTCs are significantly simplified. On a streptavidin immobilized ITO electrode, we demonstrated that these biotin-featured DTCs are efficiently captured, and as few as two cells can be electrochemically detected, with a linear detection range from 5 to 320 cells/cm2. Therefore, on the basis of the DNA-oriented shaping of cell, detection of DTCs becomes simple and sensitive, which may facilitate the process of rare DTC analysis. Besides, it is also promising to distinguish other cell types with this method in fields such as cell-based clinical diagnosis, systematic cell census, and tissue engineering.

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