Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Microdevice Enables Culture of Rare Circulating Tumor Cells from Blood

25.04.2012
Ability to culture rare tumor cells isolated from blood could help improve patient response to therapy

A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston has created a microfluidic device that can harvest rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood to enable their expansion in culture for analysis.

These cells, which have detached from a primary cancer site and often create a secondary -- or metastasized -- tumor, hold an extraordinary amount of information regarding patient-specific drug sensitivity, cancer progression, and patient response to therapy. Such information could help clinicians treat patients, but it has not been easily accessed due to the difficulty of isolating CTCs and expanding them in culture for subsequent analysis.

In alleviating this problem, the new technology has the potential to become a valuable tool for cancer diagnosis and personalized treatment. The research findings appear online in the journal Lab on a Chip.

Wyss Founding Director, Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., and Wyss Postdoctoral Fellow Joo Kang, Ph.D., led the research team. Ingber is the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital Boston, and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Kang is a Research Fellow at Children’s Hospital. Also on the team were Wyss Postdoctoral Fellow Mathumai Kanapathipillai; Children’s Hospital Research Fellow Silva Krause and Research Associate Heather Tobin; and Akiko Mammoto, an Instructor in Surgery at HMS and Children’s Hospital.

This novel approach for capturing and culturing CTCs combines micromagnetics and microfluidics within a cell-separation device, about the size of a credit card, in which microfluidic channels have been molded into a hard clear polymer. As blood flows through these channels, magnetic beads that have been coated to selectively stick to the CTCs are used to separate them from the other cells in the blood. The dimensions of the channels have been designed to protect CTCs from mechanical stresses that might alter their structure or biochemistry, as well as to maximize the number of CTCs that can be captured.

In the lab, the new approach demonstrated extremely high efficiency by capturing more than 90 percent of CTCs from the blood of mice with breast cancer. Of particular significance was the fact that the captured CTCs were able to be grown and expanded in culture. These intact living tumor cells could be used for additional testing and molecular analysis, for example, in screening drugs to meet the personal needs of individual patients in the future. Further testing found that the device is sensitive enough to detect the sudden increases in the number of CTCs that signal a cancer’s metastatic transition and could therefore alert clinicians to possible disease progression.

The Wyss Institute/Children’s Hospital team carried out their studies with one common type of breast cancer. But the same device could be used to address a wide range of tumor types as well as applications beyond cancer, such as collecting circulating stem cells or endothelial progenitor cells from the blood and growing them for use in organ repair, in the future.

For more information, contact Twig Mowatt
Twig.mowatt@wyss.harvard.edu


About the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (http://wyss.harvard.edu) uses Nature’s design principles to develop bioinspired materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world. Working as an alliance among Harvard’s Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Arts & Sciences, and in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Boston University, the Institute crosses disciplinary and institutional barriers to engage in high-risk research that leads to transformative technological breakthroughs. By emulating Nature’s principles for self-organizing and self-regulating, Wyss researchers are developing innovative new engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing. These technologies are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and new start-ups.

Twig Mowatt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wyss.harvard.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>