Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Molecules on branched-polymer surfaces can capture rare tumor cells in blood

The removal of rare tumor cells circulating in the blood might be possible with the use of biomolecules bound to dendrimers, highly branched synthetic polymers, which could efficiently sift and capture the diseased cells, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dendrimers have been used to encapsulate drug molecules and serve as a delivery vehicle, but in the new study they were employed to capture circulating tumor cells by biomimicry -- using nanotechnology to create artificial surfaces much like those in real cells.

"We want to take advantage of what nature gives us," says Seungpyo Hong, lead researcher of the study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. "We want to create new biomimetic surfaces that will allow us to remove damaged cells from the blood."

Hong, assistant professor of biopharmaceutical sciences at UIC, and his coworkers created a highly sensitive surface that enables multivalent binding -- the simultaneous binding of many molecules to multiple receptors in a biological system. The biomimetic surface was created using dendrimers of seventh-generation polyamidoamine, or PAMAM, and the anti-epithelial cell adhesion molecule, or aEpCAM.

In the body, cancer cells can detach from a primary tumor and flow throughout the bloodstream, enabling them to seed distant new tumors. Rare and difficult to capture, only a few circulating tumor cells can be found in a milliliter of blood in a cancer patient. By comparison, the same volume of blood contains several million white blood cells and a billion red blood cells, Hong said.

Three breast cancer cell lines were used as circulating tumor cell models, with each used to compare the cell adhesion of the dendrimer surfaces to a linear polymer of polyethylene glycol. PEG is commonly used to bind molecules to improve the safety and efficiency of therapeutics.

The nano-scale PAMAM dendrimers were chosen because their size and surface dimension could accommodate multiple anti-epithelial cell adhesion molecules, Hong said. This enabled the multivalent binding, along with the physiological process of "cell rolling" induced by E-selectin, which mimics the process by which circulating tumor cells are recruited to the endothelia and enhances the surface sensitivity toward tumor cells.

The surface developed by the UIC research team demonstrated up to a million-fold increase in binding strength, and up to 7-fold increase in detection efficiency, as compared to the aEpCAM-coated PEG surface that is the current gold standard for circulating tumor cell detection.

Hong says this is the first study to capture the tumor cells on the surface exploiting the multivalent effect, which is most likely due to the spherical architecture of dendrimers. The research was selected as a "Hot Paper" by Angewandte Chemie and highlighted in Faculty of 1000 by Donald Tomalia, the inventor of PAMAM dendrimers.

The results demonstrate that the combination of nanotechnology and biomimicry has a "great potential to be applied for highly sensitive detection of rare tumor cells from blood," Hong said.

Co-authors are David Eddington, associate professor of bioengineering at UIC; and research assistants Ja Hye Myung, Khyati Gajjar and Jelena Saric. The research was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Sam Hostettler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>