Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Finding Cancer Cells in Blood

02.03.2012
Chip-based method for the rapid, sensitive isolation of rare cells in blood

Even in the early stages of cancer, individual cancer cells can be found in the blood. Certain subsets of these circulating tumor cells can cause metastasis.



In cases of breast cancer, it is known that these cells can differ from the original tumor cells, which allows them to survive treatment to cause later recurrence. It could thus be quite informative to detect these cells in the blood and examine them more closely. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) describe a new chip-based method that allows for the detection and isolation of tiny concentrations of such cells in blood.

The detection of circulating tumor cells is a difficult challenge because it requires the detection of quantities as low as one to ten cells per milliliter of blood—in the presence of large numbers of red blood cells and other cells. Conventional methods cannot manage this, but scientists led by Daniel T. Chiu have now developed a microfluidic system that allows for the analysis of 1 mL of blood within 20 minutes. The secret of their success is to virtually divide the sample into aliquots (portions) and to search these for the presence or absence of the desired cell types.

The blood is initially marked with fluorescent markers that specifically bind to the desired tumor cells. The sample is then passed through a system of microchannels, where it passes through a zone that is irradiated by a laser. The size of this zone determines the volume of the virtual aliquot; 2 nanoliters was found to work well. The laser causes the marker to fluoresce if marked cells are present. It can thus be determined whether or not an aliquot contains one (or more) of the desired cells. If the aliquot fluoresces, it is automatically pumped into a different channel than the fractions that do not fluoresce. The positive aliquots enter a filtration chamber. Red blood cells and the majority of blood cells pass through the filter; tumor cells are larger and are trapped. They can be counted on the filter, examined by microscope, or removed by micropipette for further examination.

By using a second marker, certain subpopulations, such as tumor stem cells, can be identified.

Experiments with blood containing a known number of breast cancer cells yielded a recovery rate of 93 % and a false positive rate of zero. Real blood samples from patients were also examined and the results compared with those from a clinically established system. The new microfluidic system proved to be significantly more sensitive. This new procedure has potential for monitoring treatment, aftercare, and the early detection of cancer.

About the Author
Daniel T. Chiu is the A. Bruce Montgomery Professor of Chemistry and Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. He specializes in the development and translation of new biotechnologies to biomedical and clinical applications. He is also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's cancer consortium, and the University of Washington's Center for Nanotechnology, and Neurobiology and Behavior program.
Author: Daniel T. Chiu, University of Washington, Seattle (USA), http://depts.washington.edu/chem/people/faculty/chiu.html
Title: Sensitive and High-Throughput Isolation of Rare Cells from Peripheral Blood with Ensemble-Decision Aliquot Ranking

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201108695

Daniel T. Chiu | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org.

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>