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Cancers (Basel). 2019 Feb 10;11(2). pii: E200. doi: 10.3390/cancers11020200.

Continuous Separation of Circulating Tumor Cells from Whole Blood Using a Slanted Weir Microfluidic Device.

Author information

1
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. ysyoon88@hanyang.ac.kr.
2
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. jusin19@hanyang.ac.kr.
3
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. ravicmoon@gmail.com.
4
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. ghyeokshin@gmail.com.
5
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. sw915281@gmail.com.
6
Department of Life Science and Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University College of Natural Sciences, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. 5718my@naver.com.
7
Department of Life Science and Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University College of Natural Sciences, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. vanity0706@gmail.com.
8
Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. ojsul@hanyang.ac.kr.
9
Department of Life Science and Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University College of Natural Sciences, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. cgkim@hanyang.ac.kr.
10
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. wykim@hanyang.ac.kr.
11
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. parkjgl@hanyang.ac.kr.
12
Department of Life Science and Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang University College of Natural Sciences, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. sj0420@hanyang.ac.kr.
13
Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. leeyy@hanyang.ac.kr.
14
Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. hschoi96@hanyang.ac.kr.
15
Department of Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University College of Engineering, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. sbl22@hanyang.ac.kr.
16
Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. sbl22@hanyang.ac.kr.

Abstract

The separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the peripheral blood is an important issue that has been highlighted because of their high clinical potential. However, techniques that depend solely on tumor-specific surface molecules or just the larger size of CTCs are limited by tumor heterogeneity. Here, we present a slanted weir microfluidic device that utilizes the size and deformability of CTCs to separate them from the unprocessed whole blood. By testing its ability using a highly invasive breast cancer cell line, our device achieved a 97% separation efficiency, while showing an 8-log depletion of erythrocytes and 5.6-log depletion of leukocytes. We also developed an image analysis tool that was able to characterize the various morphologies and differing deformability of the separating cells. From the results, we believe our system possesses a high potential for liquid biopsy, aiding future cancer research.

KEYWORDS:

cell separation; circulating tumor cell; microfluidics

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.

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