Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On a 'roll': MIT researchers devise new cell-sorting system

07.03.2008
Process could yield low-cost tool for diagnosing cancer, other diseases

Capitalizing on a cell's ability to roll along a surface, MIT researchers have developed a simple, inexpensive system to sort different kinds of cells - a process that could result in low- cost tools to test for diseases such as cancer, even in remote locations.

Rohit Karnik, an MIT assistant professor of mechanical engineering and lead author of a paper on the new finding appearing this week in the journal Nano Letters, said the cell-sorting method was minimally invasive and highly innovative.

“It's a new discovery,” Karnik said. “Nobody has ever done anything like this before.”

The method relies on the way cells sometimes interact with a surface (such as the wall of a blood vessel) by rolling along it. In the new device, a surface is coated with lines of a material that interacts with the cells, making it seem sticky to specific types of cells. The sticky lines are oriented diagonally to the flow of cell-containing fluid passing over the surface, so as certain kinds of cells respond to the coating they are nudged to one side, allowing them to be separated out.

Cancer cells, for example, can be separated from normal cells by this method, which could ultimately lead to a simple device for cancer screening. Stem cells also exhibit the same kind of selective response, so such devices could eventually be used in research labs to concentrate these cells for further study.

Normally, it takes an array of lab equipment and several separate steps to achieve this kind of separation of cells. This can make such methods impractical for widespread screening of blood samples in the field, especially in remote areas. “Our system is tailor-made for analysis of blood,” Karnik says. In addition, some kinds of cells, including stem cells, are very sensitive to external conditions, so this system could allow them to be concentrated with much less damage than with conventional multi-stage lab techniques.

“If you're out in the field and you want to diagnose something, you don't want to have to do several steps,” Karnik says. With the new system, “you can sort cells in a very simple way, without processing.”

Now that the basic principle has been harnessed in the lab, Karnik estimates it may take up to two years to develop into a standard device that could be used for laboratory research purposes. Because of the need for extensive testing, development of a device for clinical use could take about five years, he estimates.

The work was a collaboration between Karnik and six other
researchers: MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer, Jeffrey Karp of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Seungpyo Hong, Ying Mei and Huanan Zhang of MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering, and Daniel Anderson of the Center for Cancer Research.

The work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Written by David Chandler, MIT News Office

Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/www

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>